Tamzin Lightwater

Diary of a Notting Hill Nobody | 16 May 2009

Tamzin Lightwater's unique take on the week


I couldn’t say this out loud in the office, but our people certainly do a better class of expenses fiddle. There was something awfully depressing about all those Labour claims for dry rot, porn, bath plugs, nappies and Kit-Kats from the vending machine at B&Q. Fancy selling your soul for that?! The fact that Conservatives claim for swimming pools, tennis courts, chandeliers and moats is still terrible, don’t get me wrong. But it is at least a bit more ambitious, a good deal more cheerful, and possibly gives the taxpayer better value for money in terms of what they are investing in. But I know I’m not allowed to think like this. We’re having a Two Minute Shame session this afternoon and I don’t want to be in the wrong mood. We have to sit in silence with our heads bowed reflecting on what horrible people we are. I’m just not sure I agree that it’s all bad. Some good and decent things have emerged from this scandal: e.g. Mrs Gillan offering to pay back 39p for the can of chicken and turkey dog food. Don’t tell me that wasn’t a moving moment.


Dave had to apologise. We’d run out of explanations. The Excuses Department was working overtime. Even Wonky Tom had run out of convoluted ways to explain why you would need the taxpayer to tune your piano. Or how you could have your swimming pool boiler repaired ‘by mistake’. We were exhausted with mole removal, horse manure delivery, paddock clearance and portico erection. Thank goodness am being transferred to the Tax Helpline to advise MPs on how to deal with the Inland Revenue. That will be much simpler. Meanwhile Dave wants an estimate of how many MPs he can ‘discipline’.

Already a subscriber? Log in

Keep reading with a free trial

Subscribe and get your first month of online and app access for free. After that it’s just £1 a week.

There’s no commitment, you can cancel any time.


Unlock more articles



Don't miss out

Join the conversation with other Spectator readers. Subscribe to leave a comment.

Already a subscriber? Log in