Profiled in the Guardian

I was profiled in today’s Guardian ‘Interview’. I rule! hee hee. The online photo is a bit dodgy but there is a much better one in the full-page newspaper version so I suggest you rush out and get a copy while supplies last.

I’m very pleased to know that I’m “one of the country’s most influential voices against secrecy in government.” Hooray for me!!

Oh – and on a side note. There’s another story in today’s papers about our friend Michael Martin.
Refurbishing the home and garden of the Speaker of the House of Commons has cost the taxpayer £1.7 million.

Could this be the reason he’s so keen to block my requests for a breakdown of MPs’ expenses? Surely not!

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7 Responses to “Profiled in the Guardian”

  1. Diogenes says:

    I support what you are doing. I can’t believe just how much taxpayers money is used to keep our elected members in comfort. I mean, where in the real world would an employee or manager be allowed to spend £250 without a receipt? The House of Commons will fight to prevent their ill gotten gain from being made public, just like the European Parliament has done just a few weeks ago. Good luck Heather.

  2. allan donaldson says:

    Bully for you Heather! The spurious reasons given for blocking info say exactly what the politician’s mindset is with regard to the rest of us. In this remote corner of Scotland we were amazed at the egregious editorial in the Guardian some days ago on our friend Martin and his wife. We need to know more not only on the prominent names in yesterday’s article but on every little crook lurking in their shadow. Its more likely that the abuse is greater where some nodescipt thinks he/she can get away with it by keeping a low profile. Do a random search and lets have the-mails from secretaries protecting their masters.
    Sorry about suspender belt whatever that is – you look great anyway. Slainthe!

  3. Hi Heather,

    Actually, this is not the first such episode in the last couple of years.
    Only a year or so ago, there was an almost identical instance. Another
    ‘grace and favour’ home of a parliamentary luminary, I forget exactly whom,
    (was it the Attorney General?) was refurbished at stratospheric cost on
    grounds that it was a historic premises and was open to the public when
    the occupant was away doing his job. Several people then tried to arrange
    to be shown around the building and had to jump through multiple hoops in
    order to get permission to visit.

    In the present case, the house concerned is supposed to be used as
    accomodation for visiting heads of state. I suggest you may care to enquire
    how many times in recent years the Speaker’s house has been used for this
    purpose and for how many nights.

    Auri.

  4. Christine Kapteijn says:

    Just wanted to pledge my support to your campaign, about which I read in the Guardian yesterday. I think it is outrageous that MPs do not need to reveal expenses below £250. Could not agree more that transparency equals accountability where there is tax payer’s money involved. As a public servant myself I think the lack of transparency those in privileged public positions are allowed only exacerbates a climate of cynical abuse with regard to expenses.

    Good luck with your campaign.

  5. TotallyUn-Pc says:

    Saw you on SKY today – talked a lot of sense. The Conservative on your right looked nervous. I haven’t seen politicians look that tame in years… the one thing they all seem scared of is exposure about personal accounting. Well done you!

  6. Chase says:

    Goodness, a vampy Yank has the lords a leaping!

    Nice work, Heather … but 300 murders? Really? Did I miss the great war of Spartanburg?? 🙂

    We live in Denver now, it’s beautiful, come visit!

  7. heather says:

    Thanks everyone – yes it was a very exciting day in the Heather household Saturday.

    Hi Chase (my old partner in crime-reporting) – yep it was actually something like 300 deaths (murders, car accidents, various fatal disasters) but it’s been conflated to the more exciting-sounding murders.

    Also as another correction: the lawyers who worked for me on the case – Hugh Tomlinson QC of Matrix Chambers and Louis Charalambous at Simons, Muirhead & Burton – did so on a pro bono basis. It is only now that I am going to the High Court that they’re working on a no win-no fee basis. It’s pretty unusual to get such top quality lawyers working for free so I think they deserve full praise. This is obviously a case they believe in as much as I do.

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