My regular readers know I hail from Sunny Seth Efrica. Everyone in South Africa was asking the question before the Presidential Elections whether Jacob Zuma was guilty or not guilty of corruption. Of course he was, he is African, and kick-backs are a way of life over there. We should accept this and ask a better question which is, will he be a good or bad president.
He won’t be a weak president like Mbeke but whether he will be good or bad for the country – only time will tell. I personally have a feeling he will be a good one.
However, We are in Britain, and expect a lot better from fellow Britains. A colleague from the Old Holborn blog has put the following together, and I think it is worthy of repeating.
Gerry Adams and four other Sinn Fein MPs claimed more than £500,000 over five years even though they refuse to attend Parliament
Adam Afriyle has not made any claims on his second home allowance
Douglas Alexander spent more than £30,000 doing up his constituency home – which then suffered damage in a house fire.
Michael Ancram put the cost of having his swimming pool boiler serviced on his parliamentary allowances. He has agreed to repay the money
James Arbuthnot claimed from the public finances for cleaning his swimming pool at a country residence. He has agreed to repay the money
Hilary Armstrong was told that allowing the Labour Party to pay for and run a computer at her taxpayer-funded home could make her “politically vulnerable”
Ian Austin split a claim for stamp duty on buying his second home in London into two payments and tried to claim it back over two financial years.
John Austin claimed more than £10,000 for redecorating his London flat, which was 11 miles from his main home, before selling it for a profit.
Vera Baird claimed the cost of Christmas tree decorations
Ed Balls and wife Yvette Cooper “flipped” the designation of their second home to three different properties within two years
Norman Baker asked if he could claim for a bicycle and a computer so he could listen to music and email family and friends
Greg Barker made a £320,000 profit selling a flat the taxpayer had helped pay for. He has agreed to repay £10,000.
Margaret Beckett made a £600 claim for hanging baskets and pot plants
Hilary Benn claimed only £42,113 on his second homes allowance in four years
Richard Benyon did not claim on his second homes allowance in 2007/08
Liz Blackman went on last-minute shopping sprees before the end of each financial year, in an apparent attempt to make sure she claimed as close to maximum expenses as possible
Tony Blair re-mortgaged his constituency home and claimed almost a third of the interest around the time he was buying another property in London
Hazel Blears did not pay capital gains tax on a property she sold despite having told the Commons authorities it was her second home. She has since agreed to paid the tax but denied any wrongdoing.
Crispin Blunt told to stop claiming Commons allowance on his home because his children live there
Tim Boswell claimed only £22,230 on his second homes allowance between 2004 and 2008
Ben Bradshaw used his allowance to pay the mortgage interest on a flat he owned jointly with his boyfriend
Tom Brake did not claim on his second home allowance between 2004-8
Kevin Brennan had a £450 television delivered to his family home in Cardiff even though he reclaimed the money back on his London second home allowance
James Brokenshire claimed just £368 on his second homes allowance in 2007/8 and nothing in the preceding three years
Gordon Brown’s house swap let the PM claim thousands
Nick Brown claimed £18,800, without receipts, in expenses for food over four years amid total expenses of £87,000
Chris Bryant changed second home twice in two years to claim £20,000
Andy Burnham had an eight-month battle with the fees office after making a single expenses claim for more than £16,500
Paul Burstow doesn’t claim for a second home although he his entitled to
Alistair Burt claimed £1,000 too much in expenses for his rent, but was allowed to keep the money.
Dawn Butler, the Labour whip, over-claimed £2,600 in rent on her constituency home.
Stephen Byers claimed more than £125,000 for repairs and maintenance at a London flat owned outright by his partner, where he lives rent-free
Vince Cable forgoes the second home allowance, but asked whether he could claim backdated payments of the London supplement instead
David Cameron limited his claims to mortgage interest payments and utility bills. He will repay the only maintenance bill he claimed – £600 for the removal of wisteria
Menzies Campbell hired a top interior designer to refurbish his small flat in central London at taxpayers’ expense. He will repay the £1,490.66 cost of an interior designer
Ronnie Campbell claimed a total of £87,729 for furniture for his London flat
Ben Chapman deliberately over-claimed for interest on the mortgage of his London house by about £15,000 with the approval of the fees office, documents seen by the Telegraph suggest. He is facing possible suspension from the PLP
David Chaytor admits claiming almost £13,000 in interest payments for a mortgage that he had already repaid. He has been suspended from the Parliamentary Labour Party
James Clappison owns 24 houses but billed more than £100,000, including thousands for gardening and redecoration
Kenneth Clarke managed to avoid paying the full rate of council tax on either of his two homes by effectively claiming that neither is his main residence. He has agreed to pay the full rate in future but defended his past behaviour.
Nick Clegg claimed the maximum allowed under his parliamentary second home allowance
David Clelland claimed for the cost of “buying out” his partner’s £45,000 stake in his London flat
Geoffrey Clifton-Brown “flipped” his second home designation from London to his Gloucestershire home, before buying a £2,750,000 house.
Harry Cohen claimed thousands of pounds for redecorating his second home before selling it and charging taxpayers £12,000 in stamp duty and fees on a new property
Michael Connarty sold some of the contents of his London home to Jim Devine, a close colleague, before charging the taxpayer thousands of pounds for goods delivered to addresses in Scotland.
Yvette Cooper and husband Ed Balls “flipped” the designation of their second home to three different properties within two years
Stephen Crabb claimed his “main home” was a room in another MP’s flat, after buying a new house for his family at taxpayers’ expense
Tam Dalyell attempted to claim £18,000 for bookcases two months before he retired as an MP
Alistair Darling‘s stamp duty was paid by the public
Ed Davey did not claim on his second home allowance between 2004-8
Ian Davidson paid £5,500 to a family friend to renovate his flat and then took him shooting with members of the House of Lords
David Davis spent more than £10,000 of taxpayers’ money on home improvements in four years, including a new £5,700 portico at his home in Yorkshire.
Jim Devine bought Michael Connarty’s furniture on expenses
Pat Doherty and four other Sinn Fein MPs claimed more than £500,000 over five years even though the Sinn Fein MPs refuse to attend Parliament
Alan Duncan spent thousands from his allowance on gardening, including repairs to his lawnmower. He has agreed to repay £5,000
Philip Dunne has not made any claims on his second home allowance since 2005/06
Angela Eagle claimed just £155 a month mortgage interest on her second home for a period and even underclaimed for council tax
Maria Eagle claimed thousands of pounds on refurbishing a bathroom at one of her flats just months before switching her designated second home to a property with a higher mortgage
Natascha Engel went on a shopping spree within months of being elected, spending thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ cash
Lynne Featherstone did not claim on her second homes allowance in between 2004 and 2008
Frank Field claimed just £44,338 on his second home allowance between 2004-8
Caroline Flint claimed £14,000 for fees for new flat
Barbara Follett used £25,000 of taxpayers’ money to pay for private security patrols at her home
Andrew George used parliamentary expenses for a London flat used by his student daughter. He also claimed hundreds of pounds for hotel stays with his wife. He has said he will repay £20 for a hotel breakfast
Michelle Gildernew and four other Sinn Fein MPs claimed more than £500,000 over five years even though the Sinn Fein MPs refuse to attend Parliament
Cheryl Gillan bought dog food using her allowance but agreed to pay it back after being contacted by the Telegraph
Julia Goldsworthy spent thousands of pounds on expensive furniture just days before the deadline for using up parliamentary allowances. She has promised to pay back £1,005 for a leather rocking chair
Helen Goodman claimed for a week’s stay in a cottage in her constituency over a bank holiday
Michael Gove spent thousands on his London home before “flipping” his Commons allowance to another address. He has agreed to repay £7,000
Chris Grayling claimed for a London flat even though his constituency home is only 17 miles from the House of Commons. He has agreed to stop doing so
James Gray successfully claimed £2,000 for the future redecoration of his “second home” on the day that he moved out.
John Gummer‘s gardening, including the removal of moles from his lawn, cost the taxpayer £9,000
Mike Hall claimed thousands of pounds in expenses for the cost of cleaners, cleaning products and laundry bills for his London home
Fabian Hamilton declared his mother’s London house as his main residence while over-charging the taxpayer by thousands of pounds for a mortgage on his family home in Leeds
Nick Harvey had to be reminded twice by parliamentary officials to submit receipts with his expenses claims
Alan Haselhurst charged the taxpayer almost £12,000 for gardening bills at his farmhouse in Essex, his expenses claims show.
David Heathcoat-Amory’s gardener used hundreds of sacks of horse manure and the MP submitted the receipts to Parliament
Nick Herbert charged taxpayers more than £10,000 for stamp duty and fees when he and his partner bought a home together in his constituency
Douglas Hogg included with his expenses claims the cost of having the moat cleared, piano tuned and stable lights fixed at his country manor house. He has agreed to repay £2,200 for the moat clearing
Geoff Hoon established a property empire worth £1.7 million after claiming taxpayer-funded expenses for at least two properties
Phil Hope spent more than £10,000 in one year refurbishing a small London flat. He has promised to pay back £41,000 to the taxpayer
Kelvin Hopkins claims just a fraction of the available second-home allowance by taking the train to Westminster from his home town
David Howarth has not made any claims on his second home allowance since 2004/05
Chris Huhne regularly submits receipts for bus tickets and groceries including pints of milk, fluffy dusters, lavatory rolls and chocolate HobNobs. He has promised to pay back £119 for a trouser press
Glenda Jackson did not claim on her second homes allowance between 2004 and 2008
Stewart Jackson claimed more than £66,000 for his family home, including hundreds of pounds on refurbishing his swimming pool. He has agreed to repay the costs associated with his pool
Brian Jenkins claims little or no mortgage interest for his property in London
Alan Johnson claimed just £43,596 for his second home in 2004-8
Diana Johnson claimed nearly £1,000 to cover the cost of hiring an architect for a decorating project at her second home
Helen Jones claimed £87,647 in second home allowances for her London flat between 2004 and 2008
Gerald Kaufman charged the taxpayer £1,851 for a rug he imported from a New York antiques centre and tried to claim £8,865 for a television
Alan and Ann Keen claimed almost £40,000 a year on a central London flat although their family home was less than 10 miles away
Ruth Kelly has claimed more than £31,000 to redecorate and furnish her designated second home in the past five years. She claimed thousands of pounds in expenses to pay for damage caused to her home by flooding, although at the time she had a building insurance policy.
Fraser Kemp made repeat purchases of household items over the space of several weeks.
Julie Kirkbride’s husband Andrew Mackay resigned as David Cameron’s aide after it emerged that the two MPs were making claims that meant they effectively had no main home but two second homes, both funded with public money.
Greg Knight, an MP with a collection of classic cars, claimed £2,600 in expenses for repair work on the driveway at his designated second home
Susan Kramer did not claim on her second home allowance between 2004-8
Andrew Lansley spent more than £4,000 of taxpayers’ money renovating his country home months before he sold it. He will repay £2,600 of decorating fees
Oliver Letwin repaired a pipe beneath his tennis court using taxpayers’ money. He has agreed to repay the money
Julian Lewis attempted to claim £6,000 in expenses for a wooden floor at his second home
Ian Lucas made £45,000 profit when he sold a London flat on which he had claimed second home expenses
Lord Mandelson faces questions over the timing of his house claim which came after he had announced he would step down
Andrew Mackay resigned as David Cameron’s aide after it emerged that he and his wife Julie Kirkbride were making claims that meant they effectively had no main home but two second homes, both funded with public money.
David Maclean spent thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ money renovating a farmhouse before selling it for £750,000.
Angus MacNeil, the MP whose police complaint triggered the cash-for-peerages inquiry, tried to charge the taxpayer for his drinks bills, a chocolate bar and hundreds of pounds of “petty cash”.
Fiona MacTaggart claimed just £3,392 on her second homes allowance in 2007/08
Shahid Malik claimed £66,000 on his second property while paying less than £100 a week for his main house. He has resigned as justice minister pending an investigation
Judy Mallaber rarely claims for food
John Maples declared a private members’ club as his main home to the parliamentary authorities. He claimed the maximum second home allowance on his family house while apparently not having a “main” property to maintain
Bob Marshall-Andrews claimed £118,000 for expenses at his second home, including stereo equipment, extensive redecoration and a pair of Kenyan carpets.
Rob Marris claimed just £11,973 on his second homes allowance in 2007/08
Gordon Marsdon claimed just £9,739 on his second homes allowance in 2007/08
Michael Martin used taxpayers’ money to pay for chauffeur-driven cars to his local job centre and Celtic’s football ground
Francis Maude claimed almost £35,000 in two years for mortgage interest payments on a London flat when he owned a house just a few hundred yards away. He has agreed to stop claiming for a second home
Theresa May claimed just £4,288 on her second home allowance in 2007/08
Tommy McAvoy claimed £86,565 in second home allowances between 2004 and 2008 for his flat in Westminster
Steve McCabe over-claimed on his mortgage by £4,059 during the course of two years
Ian McCartney spent £16,000 furnishing and decorating his designated second home but paid the money back two years later
Martin McGuinness and four other Sinn Fein MPs claimed more than £500,000 over five years even though the Sinn Fein MPs refuse to attend Parliament
Patrick McLoughlin, the senior MP asked by David Cameron to scrutinise Tory expenses, claimed £3,000 for new windows at his second home.
Michael Meacher claimed just £32,825 on his second homes allowance between 2004-8
David Miliband’s spending was queried by his gardener
Ed Miliband claimed just £7,670 on his second home allowance in 2007/08
Ann Milton did not make any claims on her second home allowance in 2007/08
Austin Mitchell claimed for security shutters, ginger crinkle biscuits and the cost of reupholstering his sofa. He has offered to donate his old sofa coverings to make amends
Madeleine Moon spent thousands in furniture shops near her Welsh constituency house and claimed the money back on her London designated second home allowance
Margaret Moran switched the address of her second home, allowing her to claim £22,500 to fix a dry rot problem. She has agreed to repay the money while insisting she acted within the rules. She could face an investigation for allegedly using Commons stationery to keep neighbours away from her fourth property in Spain. She also billed the taxpayer for nearly £4,000 in legal fees in settling a dispute with one of her staff and faces a challenge at the next general election from Esther Rantzen .
Elliot Morley claimed parliamentary expenses of more than £16,000 for a mortgage which had already been paid off
George Mudie claimed £62,000 in expenses for his London flat in four years, while having a mortgage of just £26,000.
Chris Mullin, a former minister, watches a 30-year-old black and white television at his second home and claims the £45 cost of the licence on his expenses
Conor Murphy and four other Sinn Fein MPs claimed more than £500,000 over five years even though the Sinn Fein MPs refuse to attend Parliament
Paul Murphy had a new plumbing system installed at taxpayers’ expense because the water in the old one was “too hot”
Lembit Opik had to pay £2,499 for a 42-inch plasma television after purchasing it while Parliament was dissolved
George Osborne was rebuked by the Commons authorities for using public money to fund his “political” website. He also claimed money for a chauffeur-driven car which he has agreed to repay
John Prescott claimed for two lavatory seats in two years
John Redwood has admitted being paid twice after submitting an identical £3,000 decorating bill on his second home allowance
Alan Reid claimed more than £1,500 on his parliamentary expenses for staying in hotels and bed-and-breakfasts near his home
John Reid used his allowance to pay for slotted spoons, an ironing board and a glittery loo seat
Angus Robertson successfully appealed to the fees office when they turned down his claim for a £400 home cinema system
Geoffrey Robinson has not made any claims on his second home allowance since 2004/05
Peter and Iris Robinson both claimed expenses based on the same £1,223 bill when they submitted their parliamentary claims in 2007
David Ruffley claimed for new furniture and fittings after “flipping” his second home from London to a new flat in his constituency
Joan Ryan spent thousands of pounds on repairs and decorations at her constituency home before switching her designated second home to a London property
Alex Salmond claimed £400 per month for food when the Commons was not even sitting
Martin Salter has not made any claims on his second home allowance since 2004/05
Grant Shapps claimed just £7,269 on his second homes allowance in 2007/08
Jim Sheridan used his allowances to reclaim the cost of a 42-inch plasma TV, leather bed and hundreds of pounds worth of furniture.
Clare Short claimed thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ money to which she was not entitled within months of standing down as a Cabinet minister
Michael Spicer claimed for work on his helipad and received thousands of pounds for gardening bills.
Anthony Steen claimed £87,000 on country mansion with 500 trees. He has announced he will step down at the next election
Jack Straw only paid half the amount of council tax that he claimed on his parliamentary allowances over four years but later rectified the over-claim
Jo Swinson included receipts for eyeliner, a “tooth flosser” and 29p dusters with her parliamentary expenses claims
Robert Syms claimed more than £2,000 worth of furniture on expenses for his designated second home in London, but had it all delivered to his parents’ address in Wiltshire
Sarah Teather did not claim on her second homes allowance between 2004 and 2008
Don Touhig spent thousands of pounds redecorating his constituency home before “flipping” his allowance to a flat in London
Kitty Ussher asked the Commons authorities to fund extensive refurbishment of her Victorian family home
Ed Vaizey had £2,000 worth of furniture delivered to his London home when he was claiming his Commons allowance on a second home in Oxfordshire.
Keith Vaz claimed £75,500 for a second flat near Parliament even though he already lived just 12 miles from Westminster
Sir Peter Viggers included with his expense claims the £1,645 cost of a floating duck house in the garden pond at his Hampshire home. He has announced he will step down at the next election
Theresa Villiers claimed almost £16,000 in stamp duty and professional fees on expenses when she bought a London flat, even though she already had a house in the capital. She has agreed to stop claiming the second home allowance
Claire Ward, the MP responsible for keeping the Queen informed about Parliament, submitted monthly expense claims for hundreds of pounds of “petty cash” while claiming maximum allowances
Tom Watson and Iain Wright spent £100,000 of taxpayers’ money on the London flat they once shared
Steve Webb sold his London flat and bought another nearby, while the taxpayer picked up an £8,400 bill for stamp duty
Shaun Woodward received £100,000 to help pay mortgage
Bill Wiggin claimed interest payments for a property which had no mortgage
David Willetts, the Conservatives’ choice for skills minister, needed help changing light bulbs. He has agreed to repay the bill
Alan Williams claimed just £5,221 on his second homes allowance in 2007/08
Phil Willis spent thousands of pounds of public funds on mortgage interest payments, redecoration and furnishings for a flat where his daughter now lives.
David Winnick claimed just £36,354 on his second homes allowance between 2004-8
Sir Nicholas Winterton and his wife Ann claimed more than £80,000 for a London flat owned by a trust controlled by their children
Ann Widdecombe claimed just £858 on her second home allowance in 2007/08
Rob Wilson did not claim on his second homes allowance between 2004 and 2008
Phil Woolas submitted receipts including comics, nappies and women’s clothing as part of his claims for food
Iain Wright and Tom Watson spent £100,000 of taxpayers’ money on the London flat they once shared
Derek Wyatt billed 75p for scotch eggs
Richard Younger-Ross spent £1,235 on four mirrors and bought ‘Don Juan’ bookcase