Of all the animals of prey, man is the only sociable one.
Every one of us preys upon his neighbour, and yet we herd together.
The Beggar's Opera: John Gay

Monday, 14 November 2011

A Song for Baroness Uddin - Reprise

I love the expenses scandal - it's the story that just keeps on giving!

The latest twist in the tale is the ruling that Baroness Uddin cannot be prevented from taking her seat in the Lords when her suspension expires in April, even though she has not yet paid back any of the £125,000 to which she helped herself in dodgy expense claims, saying she cannot afford to do so.

Her intention, it seems, is to trot back to Westminster next Spring, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, and claim £300 a day in tax-free allowances, out of which she could repay the lot in three years without touching her own substantial assets.

Since one assumes the allowances are meant solely to reimburse the Lords for out-of-pocket expenses incurred in attendance at the House, this would surely imply recidivism on a monumental scale.

It's been a while since we first immortalised her in song; I think another verse is called for...

She keeps a home down in Wapping,
Where subsidies help pay the rent,
A mansion in Bangladesh,
And don’t forget the flat in Kent,
Pressed for a remedy, she says she’s in penury,
But once she’s back in Westminster then all will be fine;
Three hundred quid a day she’ll get,
She’ll use your cash to pay her debt
Extraordinarily nice!
She's Manzila Uddin,
Baroness of Bethnal Green,
House of Lords expenses queen;
Her arrant greed will blow your mind.


  1. Perhaps the House of Lords, if unable to get rid of criminal peers should at least appoint a Probation Officer in Waiting.

  2. Good point, Demetrius; to disguise the painful necessity, perhaps the post should have one of those fancy heraldic titles - I'm sure you could think of something approporiate.

    Though it does pre-suppose there is someone with sufficient integrity among them to carry out the duty - quis custodiat and all that.

  3. Crazy world. She should be shamed by what she did but instead we are shamed by the fact that she may do as she wishes.

  4. The crims who "rule" us. the faux peers in the Lords.

  5. JH, I suppose it's inevitable, really, given this....


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