Tag Archives: taxpayers alliance

++ SHOCK! HORROR! LIB DEM MP CAUGHT UP IN NEW EXPENSES ROW!

I’m deeply grateful to the Manchester Evening News and its reporter Deborah Linton for exposing Manchester MP John Leech’s shameless attempts to exploit the taxpayer by…

(brace yourselves for the shock)…

… offering coffee to staff working at his constituency office and members of the public visiting him.

With unbelievable extravagance, Mr Leech has splashed out on two £34.99 coffee makers from Aldi for his Didsbury office. As if that weren’t shameless enough, he also bought coffee beans to actually put into the actual coffee makers!

Then to …

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , , and | 22 Comments

Did you think Taxpayers’ Alliance folks favour AV?

No, I didn’t think so either. Which makes the case of the Yes2AV.org domain name a little curious.

Check the official records and you find that it is registered to Matthew Elliott, not the Australian cricketer but the man from the Taxpayers’ Alliance who is going to head up the “no” campaign for the AV referendum. Also listed is on the registration is Andy Whitehouse, complete with his Taxpayers’ Alliance email address.

If you are campaigning for a “no”, having a domain name with a “yes” just might cause some confusion, don’t you think?

Here’s what the No2AV campaign said to me …

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 35 Comments

How to turn a contradictory comment into a media quote

Start with this pair of sentences:

Policing isn’t about communicating with people. It’s about communicating with people.

That would be a pretty daft instant contradiction, wouldn’t it?

But wait. Let’s say “PR” instead of “communicating”. Because PR = boo! bad! nothing to do with communicating!

Policing isn’t about PR. It’s about communicating with people.

Doesn’t quite work, does it? So let’s throw in something about the nasty internet:

Policing isn’t about PR and fancy websites. It’s about communicating with people.

Ah, that’s better. Second sentence is still a bit contradictory though. So let’s add in something about cutting crime. Cutting crime and communicating aren’t contradictory of course, …

Posted in News | 2 Comments

Twitter, Taxpayers’ Alliance and claims of dodgy journalism

Well well well, this is a bit of a rum turn of events in Cornwall.

Councillors send tweets during council meeting.

Western Morning News runs a story about this, taking a few potshots and quoting The Taxpayers’ Alliance slamming the councillors for this behaviour.

One of the councillors then points out that someone from the TPA was actually sending them messages on Twitter during the meeting asking them questions.

But TPA then say, no – they weren’t being hypocritical for criticising councillors for tweeting whilst also encouraging them because the quote they gave the press was in fact in response to being

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Daily View 2×2: 23 December 2009

2 Must-Read Blog Posts

What are other Liberal Democrat bloggers saying? Yesterday was a busy one on Lib Dem Blogs, though a lot quieter if you take out the posts from Lib Dem councillors and campaigners giving people information on snow, gritting and road conditions.

Spotted any other great posts in the last day from blogs that aren’t on the aggregator? Do post up a comment sharing them with us all.

2 Big Stories

I’m going to work on the assumption that you’ve noticed the spot of bad weather we’re having and don’t need me to point it out to you.

More poor people should marry, say Tories

Posted in Daily View | Also tagged | 2 Comments

Why I’m sticking up for the Taxpayers’ Alliance. Sort of.

Today’s Guardian is full of righteous indignation about the allegation that the Taxpayers’ Alliance has set up a charitable arm to claim Gift Aid on donations from wealthy backers, Tory tax allies ‘subsidised’ by the taxpayer:

A campaign group which claims to represent the interests of ordinary taxpayers is using a charitable arm which gives it access to tax relief on donations from wealthy backers, the Guardian has learned.

The Conservative-linked Taxpayers’ Alliance, which campaigns against the misuse of public funds, has set up a charity under a different name which can secure subsidies from the taxman worth up to 40%

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , and | 9 Comments

Why David Cameron was right to claim for chocolate bars on expenses

Given my love of chocolate, today’s Daily Mirror front page at first made me happy. Four big colour photos of bars of chocolate! And David Cameron in an expenses scandal!

But once I read the story, it quickly became clear David Cameron has done nothing wrong.

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Taxpayers’ Alliance admits director doesn’t pay British tax

From today’s Guardian:

The Taxpayers’ Alliance, a campaign group that calls for tax and spending cuts and claims to represent the interests of taxpayers, has admitted one of its directors does not pay British tax.

The Guardian has learned that Alexander Heath, a director of the increasingly influential free market, rightwing lobby group, lives in a farmhouse in the Loire and has not paid British tax for years…

“The least we can expect for an organisation that purports to represent the interests of British taxpayers is that it is run by people that pay British tax,” said Jon Cruddas MP.

You can read

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Taxpayers’ Alliance: a case of Web 2.0 hypocrisy?

Alex pointed out yesterday the Taxpayers’ Alliance opposition to the public sector using Web 2.o technologies:

Taxpayers don’t want more Web2.0. They want an end to wasteful spending.

Now, if you think that spending money on Web 2.0 is necessarily wasteful (and that was the full depth of the Taxpayers’ Alliance – no nuanced point about some Web 2.0 technologies, or some projects – it was just this blanket opposition), you’d have thought the Taxpayers’ Alliance would apply the same standards  to themselves?

In which case, they really had better shop themselves to their funders for wasting money as, er…, their own website is build on Web2.o technologies. As Simon Dickson points out:

Posted in News | 24 Comments

“Taxpayers don’t want Web 2.0!”

So runs the rather foolish quote from the Taxpayers’ Alliance in a story from the Daily Express expressing outrage at a job ad for a Director of Digital Engagement.

The Government should have better things to spend money on than a pointless deputy Twittercrat. The public sector as a whole should be tightening its belt during times of economic hardship, and this job would be a scandalous waste even during good economic times.

Taxpayers don’t want more Web2.0. They want an end to wasteful spending.

Neither the TPA nor the Conservative Party can see the point, instead frothing at the mouth …

Posted in Online politics and Op-eds | Also tagged , , , , , , and | 7 Comments

Portsmouth Council rejoices at discovery staff only spending 11 seconds a day on Facebook

There has been widespread praise for Portsmouth Council after it was discovered that on average its staff only spend 11 seconds a day using Facebook. Despite the huge growth in the number of people using Facebook and the growing number of hours spent on the site by its users, Portsmouth Council staff are barely using the site. It may even be that much of this time is spent outside of work hours.

Facebook is going to be banned at Portsmouth Council after new figures outrageously revealed that its 4,500 staff waste an average of 413 hours a month in total on …

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 18 Comments

Taxpayers’ Alliance: MPs should be bad employers

With all the genuine expenses targets available, you’d have through the Taxpayers’ Alliance would have found a better target than attacking a Plaid MP, Adam Price, for using part of his Parliamentary expenses to pay for his staff to go on training courses.

MPs, rightly, get to employ staff via the expenses schemes. (How else, for example, would an MP deal with the hundreds of letters and emails that many get each day?) If people are being employed to work for MPs, then in return MPs should be good bosses. Part of that involves identifying training needs for their staff …

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 4 Comments
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