Grand Day Out – Hogg Fever 34


I have had a great sleaze wheeze. The news channels are reporting that Douglas Hogg is defying Cameron over any notion that he should pay back taxpayers’ money used to maintain his country estate, complete with moat, housekeeper etc.

The public have been maintaining this property for decades. Surely that makes it a kind of National Trust property? It is a place I would love to see, as it incorporates parts of the original manor of Margaret Beaufort. She was a fascinating and extremely strong woman who knitted together the alliance that won the throne for the Tudors, whose sole claim to the throne came from her. Indeed, it is arguable she was considered a Queen in her own right.

Anyway, enough of the history. We pay for this place, so let’s go enjoy it. Who is up for a Grand Day Out at the Hogg estate in Lincolnshire? Let’s launch toy yachts on the moat, swim in the pool, picnic on the lawns and look round the house.

If you’re interested, let’s put this out in the blogosphere and see how much interest we can get. We could hire some charabancs. We have been paying for this place for years. Let’s get some use out of it!


34 thoughts on “Grand Day Out – Hogg Fever

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  • Rhisiart Gwilym

    Craig, a moment ago you had up a link to Mummified Fox, on the subject of the egregious Gove’s expenses fiddles.

    Suddenly it’s vanished.

    Anyway, I was going to post on that thread this link, (http://www.dmac.co.uk/rhisiart/) to an open letter that I sent to Gove in New Year ’03, to invite him and other pro-war hacks to go with me to Baghdad — for the sake of their honour (sic!). Not one of them ever replied, of course.

    Just thought you and tribe might be interested. It’s astonishing to me, the depths of fatuous contemptibility to which the likes of Gove can sink, and yet still show their faces in public without any sense of shame. I’d be cringing terminally in their shoes, and hiding myself away for ever. Brass neck doesn’t even begin to describe it. Is he Aspergic, do you suppose?

  • Anonymous

    We could also visit Cameron’s Cotswold country cottage on which he has made a c£300k capital gain courtesy of us paying a £300k mortgage since 2001. It is debateable who has got more benefit out of the 2nd homes allowance – Cameron or Hogg

  • Anonymous

    As a matter of interest what are diplomats allowed to claim for 2nd homes? Perhaps their rules might provide a sensible answer to this problem?

  • Craig

    British diplomats serving abroad are provided with accommodation. They don’t have any choice, aren’t involved in the rent and certainly don’t get to sell it on at a personal profit after the taxpayer paid for it.

  • Anonymous

    Rhisiart,

    That’s really weird. The entry has vanished.

    There are three or four other people who can access my platform to help out. Might be that someone knows something bad about the site. I’ll try to sort find out.

  • Anonymous

    Re diplomats – do they get any payments in respect of their homes back in the UK when working away from home – or are they expected to cover all those costs from their salaries?

  • Abe Rene

    Even if MPs deserve to be booted out by their own constituents, by entering their property, aren’t you in danger of being arrested for trespassing, not to mention breaking and entering or criminal damage?

  • Anonymous

    Do they pay UK Tax on their salaries while working abroad – since tax treaties usually exempt foreign diplomats from local taxation don’t they?

  • Craig

    I am really sorry to disappoint our anonymous friend, but British diplomats get no money for their homes back home while working abroad, and yes they do pay UK income tax, even when working abroad.

  • Craig

    Abe,

    Doubtless, though I think Hogg is astute enough to declare he is opening his house to the public for the day, and put a brave face on it – in which case I hope we will be very careful not to cause any mess.

    If not, there are many worse things happening to people than being arrested.

  • chris

    You forgot about croquet. That’s a must for a country estate day out, especially at high tea time!! We should ask Prescott if we can borrow his set.

  • lwtc247

    The anon questioner does well to exercise the right to probe the issue of diplomatic perks pertaining to possible sleaze, but has failed spectacularly. Now call me a suspicious old git but it’s quite transparent why these Q’s are being asked.

    Seems like old times again eh Craig?

    What exactly do PPS’s so anyway???

  • Anonymous

    Craig

    Your response re diplomats’ packages while working away from home don’t disappoint me in the slightest – I just wanted to be sure of the facts. The diplomat model would seem to be an appropriate one to apply to MPs who also have to work away from home – 650 diplomats can hardly plead that they are a special case and it takes time to design an appropriate system of payments – when it would appear that there is a ready made (and I daresay well codified system) that already applies to thousands of foreign diplomats.

  • Marc

    I think the diplomatic model is perfect. Provide them with a residence, and travel.

    The govt could buy up some of the empty office space in London and turn it into flats. If they want anything more, they could put their hands in their *own* pockets for a change.

  • Craig

    Our anonymous friend, sorry if I mistakenly mistook you for a troll.

    Yes, it’s a good model.

  • Anonymous

    Or the state could buy/rent them a suitably unlavish appointment in their consituency if they wanted their 2nd home there. There still remains the issue of what would be an appropriate salary to attract candidates of the right calibre. Quite why a parlimentary committee needs to sit for weeks/months to sort this out while the reputation of all MPs good or bad is being trashed is beyond me.

  • kevin

    more importantly it was the home of john of gaunt’s 2nd wife kathryn whose bastard children’s descendants are still on the throne and who got into trouble over her moat?

  • lwtc247

    “appropriate salary to attract candidates of the right calibre.” – Sorry. I’ve never bought that line. Not just because it’s BS, well, no sorry, I’m wrong, because it is BS.

    Galloway made that error on his radio show once and you could tell he realised it. He was defending MP salary’s (Quelle surprise) saying if you pay peanuts you get monkeys. When he spoke those words you could just tell from the briefest hesitation in completing the sentence that He realised he’s calling Nurses, Firemen and Teachers, monkeys!

    In fact GG proved the vey opposite. Those professions contain a fair share of people who work for the very decent results their labour produces. Well treated sick and convalescing people, Saved lives, Educated Kids {yea all despite the rotten grubbyment we have}.

    “Oh I’m going to to try and help peoples lives because the pay is good”

    Fact is if you pay them highly, it attracts people who want the money.

    don’t be a bozo.

  • mary

    It’s not only the moat! I have just been reading a Torygraph article about Hogg listing a multiplicity of claims. He displays complete arrogance and is obviously as potty as his father Quentin who used to go round ringing a handbell if my memory is correct.

    ‘Among the MP’s claims on the house in Lincolnshire, which includes a lodge and outhouses and on which he had no mortgage, were bills for a “mole man”, the cost of running his housekeeper’s car and a £31 call-out to have bees removed.

    His expenses were so extensive that in 2004 he negotiated a special deal with the Commons fees office, which for several years automatically paid him a 12th of the annual allowance each month. In correspondence with officials, the Eton-educated barrister claimed this was necessary as the running costs of his estate were “greatly” in excess of the maximum permitted under MPs’ second home allowances, adding: “It will certainly make my life a lot easier.”

    At one stage, Mr Hogg sent a 10-page letter detailing the costs of running his estate over the previous three years.’

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/mps-expenses/5310069/MPs-expenses-Clearing-the-moat-at-Douglas-Hoggs-manor.html

  • ceedee

    How about a spot of gardening while you’re visiting Hogg’s country estate?

    Seems to be all the rage these days!

    “Pound Force”: Alan Duncan’s garden gets a guerilla makeover – http://bit.ly/mCxbs

  • Stephen Jones

    I feel that Hogg should be commended for his public-spirit. After all, a clogged moat can bring all kinds of health problems (dengue, malaria, cholera, the dreaded lurgi) to his constituents when they arrive at the drawbridge cap in hand.

    And let’s face it. The amusement it’s given everybody has been well worth a couple of thousand quid. Divided by the population it’s the best 003p I’ve never spent.

    And I’m sure most of us would vote for somebody who claims a moat on public expense over somebody who claims a bath plug.

  • Anonymous

    lwtc 247

    I was asking a question not answering it – you should note however that some headmasters are now paid more than the MP salary, nearly all GPs are paid more and I suspect a very large portion of those in the other professions. You may not want to see members of the professions in Parliment – but the bare fact is that many would have to take a paycut if they were to become MPs – I’m not sure that you have made your case.

  • lwtc247

    The construct here is that the more money you pay someone the better a job they will do, And that construct is BS.

    Inherent in it is that those on lower salaries – the “monkeys” as Galloway calls them, are in some capacity or more less worthy people than those commanding gross salaries.

    Either way it’s looked at it totally ignores elitism and maintenance of glass ceilings endemic in numerous institutions and so forth.

    Those who harm the planet, the people, flora and fauna on it the most are the ones with lard like salary/supra-salary holders. This is true across the corporate world. Financial comfort zones do a marvellous job at destroying the pangs of conscience for those financially less well off.

    With increasing wealth comes increasing responsibility, but with many the ‘gate off’ that responsibility to their close family and perhaps their chums all of whom discuss the latest financial trickery to enhance that wealth even further.

    In the age of mass instant communication I really don’t think parliament in anything like its current form is needed ?” bin the head of it, Herr mudjesty for a start.

    But if a parliament is to be had, then let it be filled of people who in no way resemble the sluts we currently have in there many of which on the slightest suggestion open their legs to a number of very vile people and ideas indeed.

    As for paycut, I think we have seen that the amount of money the earn from working the political streets (non Exec director, “advisors”, shareholders in companies that coincidentally benefit from govt decisions) makes the concept of paycut rather redundant.

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