Posted by Tim Ireland at February 8, 2008

Category: Anne Milton

Here’s the top story from the latest edition of our local newspaper:

Um, ah... Anne Milton's in trub-bllllllle!

For those of you in the cheap seats, that headline reads; MP paid her husband for £13,000 of Westminster work

(And you may recall that another Tory MP, Derek Conway, recently experienced some difficulty over a sum somewhere in the region of £40,000.)

Here’s the guts of that article:

MP Anne Milton has employed her husband and paid him £13,000 since coming to office, it has been revealed. The Tory shadow minister for health has hired spouse Graham Henderson in each of her first two years in Westminster. Between 2005 and 2006, he earned £6,500 from Ms Milton’s expenses as a researcher while the former nurse was setting up her office. During the following 12 months, Mr Henderson was paid £5,500, again to carry out research and answer e-mails on behalf of his wife. For his regular job, he is a doctor who works three days a week. Ms Milton said: “In 2005 I was setting up my office and I did not even have an office for the first six weeks. I only had a researcher. The following year, it would be far to say that I was incredibly busy on the hospital campaign and he did quite a lot of research for me, including on health, as well an answering e-mails and drafting letters. In the last year, my husband has worked for me and he has not been paid for it.”

OK, out comes my fisking tool… let’s slice and dice:

MP Anne Milton has employed her husband and paid him £13,000 since coming to office, it has been revealed.

£13,000? But only last Sunday, Milton was saying this:

The Sunday Times – Disorder, disorder!: Anne Milton, the Tory MP, gave her husband Graham Henderson a one-off payment of £5,500 last March for doing reading for her, as part of a local health campaign. “I paid my husband retrospectively for some work he had done. It was mostly reading, doing notes for me,” she said.

For further indication of how forthright she’s being with this latest statement, check out this earlier article, also from our local newspaper, where she explains the steep rise in her expenses by saying that she hired a new employee last year after being understaffed for her first 12 months in office… while completely failing to mention that her husband was a new addition to the payroll.

The Tory shadow minister for health has hired spouse Graham Henderson in each of her first two years in Westminster. Between 2005 and 2006, he earned £6,500 from Ms Milton’s expenses as a researcher while the former nurse was setting up her office.

For the tax year 2005-2006, Graham Henderson was employed as Director of Public Health for the East Surrey PCT, wasn’t he?

I must say, it takes an extraordinary amount of dedication to work twice as hard for the British taxpayer. Where did he find the time?

(rolls eyes)

During the following 12 months, Mr Henderson was paid £5,500, again to carry out research and answer e-mails on behalf of his wife…. [Anne Milton said]: “…it would be far to say that I was incredibly busy on the hospital campaign and he did quite a lot of research for me, including on health…”

Note that here (and, arguably, in the Times article), Milton cleverly associates the expenditure with the most popular campaign she has been involved in sought to exploit as an MP, but she does not actually say specifically that he was working on that campaign.

Was this expenditure directly related to the Save the Royal Surrey campaign? Surely if it was, she wouldn’t hesitate to point it out. She likes to scream “I’m saving the Royal Surrey, me!” as much as she used to enjoy bleating “I’m a former nurse!”

(ahem)

“… as well an answering e-mails and drafting letters.”

How convenient that Dr Graham Henderson was working on something that we the public can’t possibly see audited unless there’s an official police investigation.

“In the last year, my husband has worked for me and he has not been paid for it.”

The tax year’s not over yet. What reassurance do we have that he won’t be paid retrospectively?

And – crucially – what evidence can Anne Milton show us that Graham Henderson did any of the work he was paid for?

I’m going to email Anne Milton today and put a few pertinent questions to her. Perhaps the reply will come from Dr Graham Henderson or – more likely – it will come from Parliamentary Researcher Simon Hill, who – to the best of my recollection – is the only person who has answered (or declined to answer) any of the questions I’ve put to Anne Milton via email.

UPDATE (14 Feb) – Click here to read those questions… and Milton’s single, pissweak answer.








Posted by Tim Ireland at February 7, 2008

Category: The Political Weblog Movement

If you’re new here, you may want to read this first.

If you’ve been following developments (that I’ve been blogging because I’m a born attention-seeker that’s what bloggers do), then check this out:

Matt Buck – Digital content in the blogosphere

Oh dear.

Meanwhile, I’ve heard nothing from Paul Staines, he hasn’t blogged about this at all, and I haven’t heard from his libel tax lawyer for over a week.

Piss or get off the pot, Paul.

UPDATE – In other news, it would appear that the only bloggers Staines threatened over my initial article were myself and Sunny Hundal. Now why do you think that is?

Sunny Hundal – Guido Fawkes is a blogging nuisance

Oh, and:

If I were paranoid, I’d read something into this. (#1)

If I were paranoid, I’d read something into this. (#2)

(PS – “…described by TV’s Iain Dale as…” Bwahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!)








Posted by Tim Ireland at February 7, 2008

Category: The Political Weblog Movement

Sorry folks, but matters have been greatly complicated by some coward letting this comment-bomb drop shortly after the announcement of a cease-fire:

Iain Dale // Feb 6, 2008 at 7:02 pm

The bullying point is an interesting one. Whether Tim Ireland intends to bully is one thing. But those on the receiving end FEEL they are being stalked and bullied, so the effect is the same.

Believe me I have tried to enter a rational debate with him, but it is impossible. I have now given up. He has his little cotorie of freinds (he calls my friends sockpuppets, of course) who hang on his every word (yes, that’s you Justin McKeating and the Axe killer John Hirst. Hmmm. Nice) and try to police the blogosphere for him, and report back to Daddy with their findings.

As you rightly report, virtually every post at the moment is about me Guido, Donal or Shane. Is this really of interest to anyone? I know it bores me rigid.

Is it really a comment from Iain Dale, or just some witless troll?

Well, my main problem is that Iain is being very childish about it and refusing to confirm or deny if he made that comment.

So we’re all waiting for Iain.








Posted by Tim Ireland at February 6, 2008

Category: The Political Weblog Movement

Good news, comrades!

I have just received a communication containing information that may well bring the ‘war’ within measurable distance of its end.

More tomorrow, with luck.

UPDATE (9pm) – If this comment is really from Iain Dale, then he chose a hell of a time to pick a fight.








Posted by Tim Ireland at February 6, 2008

Category: UK Libel Law

They come over here, marry our women, take our jobs and exploit our libel laws.

[Note – New category; ‘UK Libel Law’. There’s more to come on this issue, as was promised here.]








Posted by Tim Ireland at February 6, 2008

Category: The War on Stupid

House of Lords debates – Tuesday, 5 February 2008 – Parliament Square: Demonstrations

Lord West of Spithead clearly has an open mind about Haw’s display [rolls eyes] and regards himself to be a peacemaker because he once stopped his driver from laying into a protestor.

In other news, my submission is one of a whopping 500+ from concerned citizens.

I love you, Great British Public, I really do. (And next week, I’ve giving you all a special present to show you just how much I love you.)








Posted by Tim Ireland at February 6, 2008

Category: Tony 'King Blair

Remember when some of us were trying to ensure that Iraq was addressed as an issue during the 2005 General Election and Tony Blair responded to those efforts by (a) timing his response to suggest that it was a purely Conservative effort and (b) claiming we were playing the man and not the ball?

What laughs. Good times.








Posted by Tim Ireland at February 6, 2008

Category: The Political Weblog Movement

Right here.








Posted by Tim Ireland at February 6, 2008

Category: The Political Weblog Movement

You can see Iain Dale bitching about the BBC and the dreadful waste of licence-payer’s money in one sense or another here, here and here.

Meanwhile, if you look at the code for Iain’s dandy new site design, you will see that the icons for his link-whoring widgets…

… would appear to the untrained eye to be drawn (or, if you prefer, leeched) directly from the BBC’s web servers:

[Note – I wasn’t clever obsessive enough to find this myself; Garry (a fellow member of the vast leftist conspiracy) had to find it for me.]

1. A bit inconsistent, don’t you think? I mean, you can waffle on about scale all you like (it’s about 2Kb and change with each download) but if you don’t like being called a hypocrite (and Iain doesn’t like being called a hypocrite), then you can’t go around bitching about how this or that is a waste of a licence fee when you yourself are hoovering up the BBC’s resources in order to promote your own website.

2. Does Iain have permission to do this? I mean, the BBC offer advice on these widgets here, but I’ll be damned if I can find a page on their site that invites the public to leech the relevant icons for these widgets directly from their servers.

Just asking is all. I wouldn’t want to accuse anyone of stealing without proof.

Iain? Any response*? Have you been stealing from the BBC, or am I missing something?

[*Iain: Please note that quietly changing the code while ‘ignoring’ me technically counts as a response, but I’d much rather that you were polite about it.]

UPDATE (07 Feb) – The leeching from the BBC has been described as an “oversight” and a “mistake” by Iain’s web designer (who made the same error on his own website) and the relevant code has been corrected, so Iain was leeching from the BBC without permission, but isn’t at present. I suggested a modest donation to Children In Need to make up for it (i.e. to bring balance to the equation in a way that would allow Iain to continue to bitch about licence fee wastage in the future without risk of being called a total hypocrite). This idea was considered… and then rejected*.

[*Tch. Won’t somebody pleeeease think of the children?]








Posted by Tim Ireland at February 6, 2008

Category: The Political Weblog Movement

Shane Greer and the company he keepsStill no response from Shane Greer, who seems perfectly happy to declare that I’m “obviously unbalanced” and group me with a convicted stalker, and ignore any response to it while he pisses off to Washington, apparently in the company of the tax lawyer whose ‘client’ is threatening to sue me for libel.

[Psst! That same lawyer is on Greer’s blogroll. Look to your right for a screen capture.]

Incredible, isn’t it?

In fact, if I didn’t think so little of Richard Littlejohn, I’d say something about the difficulty one might have making it up.

[Damn it. I just did, didn’t I? Oh well. Moving on…]

And, as I point out here, all too often it starts out this way:

Someone claims/does something that is totally out of order, resists every reasonable attempt to challenge their position, and then eventually screams ‘harassment’ when I continue beyond the point where they expect me to give up and go away.

Well, Greer has finally annoyed me enough for me to use his name in the headline, thereby starting the process that will soon have me in control of a top search result for his name.

In future, when someone searches for ‘Shane Greer’, they’ll see what a thoroughly fair, pleasant and reasonable person he can be.

I look forward to a convincing performance when the time comes for him to play the victim.

UPDATE (11:15am) – Oh dear. Look at what can be managed in less than two hours…

UPDATE (11:25am) – Screen capture updated. I jumped from second to first place while updating this post:








  • NEW! You can now support Bloggerheads by buying handmade firelighters for camping and utility or deluxe firelighters for your home fireplace. Visit fireburngood.com to see my products.

    Fire Burn Good fire lighters

  • External Channels

  • Tim Ireland

  • Page 3 Politics

    Page 3: a short history

  • Main

  • Archives

  • Categories

  • The Cautionary Campfire Songbook

    The Cautionary Campfire Songbook

  • Badges + Buttons

    religion