Last year The Telegraph undertook a fantastic public service in blowing the lid off the murky cover-up of MPs expenses. Without bias they gave all barrels to all guilty politicians of all colours. However it seems they haven't been quite as open and honest in their tactics as it first seemed. Why did they not unveil these details about David Laws when they were orgasmically pushing their "Expenses Files" a year ago? Could it have been that it wasn't quite deemed a big enough story? A minor infraction of the letter of the rules rather than some of the shameless abuse and flagrant fraud that went on elsewhere? Could it be that Mr Laws was clearly not gaining financially from the situation, in fact taking a cheaper option than renting his own flat? Or could it be that they are now willing to do someone's dirty work using their information to carry out political vendettas?
It now seems The Telegraph are happy to play politics with their small, but very powerful, memory stick. Since Laws became Chief Secretary hacks have seemed desperate to out him. TB hopes Holly Watt and Robert Winnett are feeling very smug and happy tonight. There is no doubt this story would have been tiny if the underlying aim hadn't been pointing a finger and screaming "SECRET GAYER!" If you have any doubt look at the headline of the original story. "Treasury chief David Laws, his secret lover and a £40,000 claim" - a sensationalist outburst worthy of the tabloids with a very carefully chosen order for the allegations. As for the £40k figure? TB can't get his head round that either - it was legal to pay rent to a dubiously named "partner" until 2006. So between 2001 and then Laws was claiming legally. So presumably the £40k figure mentioned included those legal payments. Though this is hardly surprising given the fact the story was a thinly disguised excuse at outing Laws.
It is no surprise that The Telegraph won the race to expose - they are now abusing their position as the leading light in the expenses fight. Without access to those files they wouldn't have the crucial name of the landlords, but it beggars belief that they found the link by themselves. Still the expenses scandal drags on, but now more viciously than the infringements deserve. The Telegraph need to release the rest of the expenses files so this scandal, thought dead, can be buried once and for all. The drip drip has to stop - it is fundamentally unfair- damn them all or damn none, don't play politics with timing and picking and choosing victims to fit agendas.
The economic security of the country has been undermined by The Telegraph's ego and flogging of a dead horse. The General Election was meant to clear the air, but it seems the Telegraph are still sitting on much much more than they let out originally. A line needs to be drawn under this scandal and if Laws's position was untenable, the many of the blue and red front-benches should also be hounded out of office too. But hold on, they weren't choosing to keep the fact that they were gay out of the soiled pages of the newspapers.
One thought that TB can't get out of his head is this whole affair reeks of a stitch up. Who tipped The Telegraph to the name of the landlord/boyfriend? Who might have know about the former Chief Secretary's expense arrangements? Former deputy leaders and presidents of parties are privy to that sort of information about their MPs. Who is on internal party manoeuvres? Who is in cahoots to see the left of Liberal Democrats have a stronger voice? Who are more opposed to the right-wing Laws than the likes of Vince Cable and Simon Hughes, both rocking the boats behind the scenes. Just sayin'.
As you might be able to tell TB is still seething about the fact Laws had to go though he sees why this honourable man felt he should go. Yes he was stupid, but on the scale of the expenses scandal this was not a resigning issue. His swift return is needed for the country and coalition, the figures being discussed for Laws pale in comparison to the figures he was slicing off the deficit. Osborne put it perfectly that he seemed to be put on the earth to undertake the drastic reforms and cuts needed to the state, Danny Alexander looks like a simpleton in comparison and there is no way the Emergency Budget is going to be as successful as it would have been under Laws's careful eye. Laws in the Treasury was by in far the best thing about this coalition and now that has been shattered. In a desire for a quick scoop and cheap thrill The Telegraph have really blundered this time. Two people that are sadly missed - Will Lewis and David Laws.