A View From Middle England - Conservative with a slight libertarian touch - For Christian charity and traditional belief - Free Enterprise NOT Covert Corporatism

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Shaun Woodward's £70,000 luxury taxpayer-paid trips!

Remember Shaun Woodward? He's the former Tory MP for Witney (the seat now occupied by David Cameron), the former TV producer of That's Life, which made Esther Rantzen famous, and the former Bristol boy made good. Somehow the Tory party became too much for him. Far better the vulgarities of New Labour.

When Woodward left Witney in a huff, the New Labour machine parachuted the turncoat into the safe seat of St. Helens. Woodward had never been to the place. It took him over a year to find a house in the constituency. A terraced house into which he somehow managed to install three new bathrooms. Then there was all the joking about whether he could get his butler into the house as well.

Woodward is a man who has done well since he left his modest background of Bristol behind him. He married into the Sainsbury family and never looked back. He lives in a house his constituents only dream of when they fill in their lottery coupons!

Why mention this man? Because he spent £70,000 of taxpayers' money on three short trips to America. He flew first-class and stayed at some of the grandest hotels in Washington and New York, including the Four Seasons in Manhattan, where the cheapest rooms cost £350-a-night. Outrageous, when you think that those who elected him are having to endure hikes in utilities, council tax, and groceries. Ulster Unionist Lord Laird of Artigarvan said using public money in this way was "completely alien". I'd say so.

Of course, the Northern Ireland office backs him up, but as Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what exactly does he do that the Chuckle Brothers don't do?


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