Thursday, 7 April 2011
Elliot Morley, The Man Who Put The ...
... an old Scunthorpe joke, along the lines of Typhoo putting the 'T' in Britain. Work it out.
Yes, Elliot Morley has pleaded guilty to dishonestly claiming more than £30,000 in expenses to which he was not entitled. Most of this related to a mortgage that had already been paid off - but which Morley claimed he had forgotten about. If there has been a more preposterous claim in the whole sorry affair of MPs' expenses, I have yet to hear it. To most people, paying off the mortgage is a significant event. You count down the months beforehand, imagining what you are going to be able to do with the hefty wodge that you have been paying to the building society every month for the past 20 or 25 years. But that's when it's your own money, of course. When it's someone else's, what's the fuss? Easy come, easy go.
To Morley's credit, he has realised (or his brief has made him realise) that claiming it was a genuine oversight just wasn't going to wash in front of a jury of normal people, and he has turned in a plea of guilty.
Let's see if we can work out how long this paragon of rectitude is going down for. Devine got 16 months (out in eight, and his brief said he hoped he would be out in four, but let's leave that for the time being). Morley's cheating was around four times the amount that Devine got, and it wasn't even semi-justifiable (Devine was merely claiming under the wrong heading to spend the money on his office; Morley was going for cash in the bank), so let's guess at 16 x 5, or 80 months. Knock off a third for the guilty plea, say 54 months - or four-and-a-half years. That's my calculation. I will be disappointed if it's much less, but I fear it will be. I'll be putting a poll at the top of the blog. Feel free to make a guess. (No prizes, but an honorable mention and your name in 16-point Times Roman in a colour of your choice for whoever gets closest.) Poll runs for a week, and he is due to be sentenced after 12 May.
Incidentally, does anyone else think he looks a bit like Chris Farlowe?
Baby, baby, you're out of time ...