Alex Massie

Pigs at the Trough?

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Now that the Tories have reopened their candidate selection process, there are going to be plenty of candidates wondering how best to take advantage of their opponents' extravagant expense claims. The intricacies of capital gains tax and "flipping" second homes are all very entertaining, but liable to become bogged down in legalese. Not so, by comparison, the hefty £400 MPs could claim for food each month. A friend sees this as an opportunity not to be wasted and emails me his advice to would-be MPs to:

Spend £400 in a branch of Greggs - which will get you approx 100 steak bakes, 200 sausage rolls, 100 scotch pies and 100 doughnuts, plus a couple of cheese savoury sandwiches for the eco-bling types - then: 
 


(a) assemble the items in your living room and 
(b) get a photograph of the resultant steak bake mountain and put it on an election leaflet with the warning "This is what you buy the grasping boot/blighter every month". Below this, you might place a picture of your own gut with a Domino's Pizza logo tattooed on it, photographed to look as large as possible, with the caption, Years of Hard Work...

Elected office might escape you but internet fame wouldn't. As you can see, this is an idea that, with some minor modifications, is just crazy enough to actually work...

Written byAlex Massie

Alex Massie is Scotland Editor of The Spectator. He also writes a column for The Times and is a regular contributor to the Scottish Daily Mail, The Scotsman and other publications.

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