Sunday 15 March 2015

Still Championing Sarah?

There's a 'breaking news' story at the moment about Rotherham Labour MP Sarah Champion claiming, on parliamentary expenses, the cost of a poppy wreath for Remembrance Day - something which will obviously offend many people, and that inevitably harks back to the parliamentary expenses scandal of 2009.

Sarah Champion was one of the stars of the recent landmark BBC documentary, Inside the Commons. She was presented as someone untouched by the expenses scandal, and vigorously determined to be a parliamentary outsider. 

She came across very well, thanks to the BBC. (Even I fell for her). Plus, she's been all over the BBC in the wake of the Rotherham paedophile scandal. 

A search on Google News shows that the Rotherham Star reported this 'breaking news' first - about five hours ago. The Daily Express followed four hours ago. The BBC reported it two hours ago. The Daily Mail one hour ago.

For those who think the BBC has been championing the Rotherham Labour MP, in the wake of the Rotherham paedophile scandal, this is surely encouraging. They are reporting it, after all. 

If you look carefully you can even see it on the BBC News website's homepage, about two-thirds of the way down the page in small print (in the 'England' section) with the unspecific headline MP claims £17 poppy wreath expenses. (No name, no party - unlike the Express and the Mail who loudly trumpet 'Labour' in their headlines).

Still, they are reporting it - at least online. We'll have to see where they go from here.


  1. A lot of Beeboids don't like the poppy, though. I've read anonymous complaints that they feel forced to wear one, and that if somebody hasn't bought one they have plastic ones on hand to stick on you before allowing you to appear on air. So maybe they don't see this story as a big problem for her it's a business prop rather than something of any moral or cultural value.

  2. Perhaps she bought it to burn it, in which case it would be classed as a ‘work-related’ expense. (electioneering purposes)

  3. I can't see what the fuss is about - she is surely laying the wreath as a representative of her constituents rather than in a personal capacity? Some of the outrage sounds pretty synthetic to me (er, hello Taxpayers Alliance).

    1. The husband of one of our long-time employees recently died. I went to the cremation and sent along some flowers. On your reasoning I would have been entitled to take something out of the petty cash for my trouble. After all, although I knew the deceased, I was sending along the flowers in a "representative capacity" as owner of the company as well as personally. The thought of recompense never crossed my mind. Maybe being brought up properly and in a better world has an effect on one's behaviour.
      Coming to the troughing cow of an MP: she should have been sending the wreath both personally and as a representative. To reduce a personal mark of respect to a petty financial transaction marks her as a typically mean-minded careerist (and socialist of course). Such conduct, if not outrageous, is certainly deplorable.

    2. I agree there is a personal and representative capacity in both situations but I think the personal element is much stronger in your example and less so in hers. I don't think it matters where the money came from in either case - the important thing is that you were there to support your friend.

      I think in her case there is a very strong representative element - arguably she's there on behalf of the many of her constituents who are not. Again, the important thing is that she was there.

      I suspect the only 'personally funded' wreaths laid on Remembrance Sunday will have been from people with a strong connection to family or friends who died in the war.

  4. I'm pleased to say I wasn't taken in by the woman of the people act and I was outraged by her laughing at a democratic politician being prevented from free movement by a violent mob in her constituency. This latest evidence of her untrustworthiness is quite illuminating.


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