Balls to Expenses
Ed Balls, he of the staring eyes and bad temper, and his wife, fellow Cabinet member Yvette Cooper, were the biggest parliamentary expenses claimants last year, according to official figures reported by the 'Telegraph'. These expenses are a sensitive issue because they are, of course, taxpayer-funded, and they rely on a degree of 'sleight of hand' on the part of the claimants in order to maximise them. So, for example, to get the most out of their expenses, Mr. and Mrs. Balls need to claim that their main house is in his Yorkshire constituency, although they in fact live most of the time in their London home, where they bring up their family.
The 'Telegraph' has come in for criticism amongst right-wingers on the Conservative Home and Guido Fawkes sites for losing its Tory sensibilities and developing undue sympathies to the Brown camp. It has, admittedly, jettisoned some long-serving Conservative reporters on its political staff, replacing them with more left-wing writers, but its pages today carry a less than sympathetic profile of Ed Balls, and report the expenses claims at some length. Perhaps it is still conscious of its Conservative heritage. Or perhaps there is a more sinister explanation to the stories.....?