David Cameron has taken the sensible line and apologised for the tennis lawn greed of his taxpayer funded toffs.
Sadly, the Tory blogs are not on message, and are concentrating on explaining why it is OK for Tory MPs to do precisely the same things that it is wicked for Labour MPs to do. Particularly risible is their rallying around the obnoxious Michael Gove.
Gove is important to them because he is what passes for an intellectual in the modern Tory Party. He has written books. They are very slim books indeed, despite a large and well-spaced font, but nonetheless they are books. Gove is the Tories’ answer to the BNP, the respectable face of Islamophobia. His books are extended essays in well-turned prejudice.
Gove claims an expertise in Islamic radicalism despite the fact he does not know any Islamic radicals. He writes of conditions inside communities in Britain he has never met in towns he has never visited. He has never sat in a radical Madrassa in Pakistan or on a hillside in Afghanistan, but tells us what he has been told goes on there. He is a thin-faced recycler of the bigotry of others, a dupe for any apostate looking for new position, an engine to make racism respectable. Gove is a smooth-faced fascist.
Gove has “flipped” his second home. He has changed the designation of his second home between London and his constituency, and thus charged the taxpayer to furnish both. The Telegraph has exposed this.
The Tory blogs are outraged at the exposure of their idol. Iain Dale squeaks:
Fraser Nelson has the full story on Michael Gove. He is totally in the clear and if the Telegraph are suggesting otherwise then they had better have very good lawyers.
I am suggesting otherwise, Iain and Michael. I don’t have a lawyer. I look forward to hearing from yours.
Tory bloggers would have us believe that Gove was “different” to the New Labour sleazebags because he was moving for genuine family reasons. Frazer Nelson has written this piece in the Spectator to explain that Gove told him the genuine reasons for his move, but unfortunately it got cut out of his piece at the time:
This is the exculpation on which Tory apologists are seizing to say Gove was in the clear. We have this from Dizzy Speaks:
“it may be difficult to prove that a fiddle was the intent of the switch. Especially if, like Gove, you’re on the record talking about it yonks ago because you really did move”.
Well, except he’s not on the record. It wasn’t published. We have the word of crazed ultra neo-con, and favourite Murdoch commentator, Frazer Nelson. I would take the word of Ronnie Biggs before I took the word of Frazer Nelson. On anything.
But let us look at this. Gove had an existing London residence as second home and claimed to have it furnished by the taxpayer. His family was in the constituency home in Surrey Heath. He then moved his family from Surrey Heath to his London home, and then claimed for furnishing his Surrey Heath home as his family home.
If the family furniture came from Surrey Heath to London, why could the taxpayer purchased London furniture not just go in the other direction?
If the move really was for family reasons, why should the taxpayer pick up the tab for family reasons?
The news that the commute from Surrey Heath to London is too difficult, will come as news to over 10,000 of his constituents who do it every day, a great many of whom have jobs more stressed and less flexible than Gove.
It will also come as a shock to the million people working in London whose daily commute is harder than that.
I am glad that the Tory scandals have also been revealed by the Telegraph. But my main hope is that eyes on the internet will have been opened. Tory blogs have been enjoying great popularity as their party is opposing a rubbish government.
What the Gove affair demonstrates beyond doubt is that, should the Tories get in power, those trendy Tory blogs will be even more lickspittle yes-men, purveyors of excuses for the inexcusable, servile followers of uncaring leaders, than NuLab blogs are now.