...same as the old boss. As the well-known rabbit cliché goes - for overseas readers and the terminally inattentive - the above person is David Laws who has been Chief Secretary to the Treasury for not quite a record short duration for a cabinet minister but not far off. Laws has been obliged to resign - and got outed in a pretty brutal way - after it was disclosed that he had claimed £40,000 of public funds for 'rent' paid to his male lover supposedly for accommodation arranged for the better discharge of his public duties. This is against the rules and Laws (who is apparently very wealthy in his own right) has paid the money back and resigned. The suspicion - well it's more than a suspicion - is that he has resigned sharpish all the better to resume office after the fuss has died down and he has served his period in the sin bin to the satisfaction of 'Dave'. Now so far as the rabbit is concerned, Laws can be having it off with a bactrian camel for all he cares and there is no duty on Laws to disclose any more of his private life than he sees fit - all other things being equal.
What makes them unequal - apart from his arrangement as regards 'rent' being against the rules - is that Laws was in charge of a pretty aggressive cuts agenda - a task as one of the new style economic liberals he was applying himself to with some vigour. A lot of much less wealthy people will lose their jobs. In mitigation, he could have within the rules claimed as much or more money by other contrivances. Conversely, if he had been much less wealthy and claimed Housing Benefit in a much more modest sum in similar circumstances, he would have been in danger of criminal prosecution. Meet Backy the bactrian camel who is going to keep an eye on this shower on behalf of the rabbit.
On a completely different topic, the rabbit has been reminded over the weekend of three different people who are heroised by many but all of whom were either pretty unpleasant individuals or at least said or did pretty unpleasant things...
The first is Marie Stopes. There is much excitement at the moment over whether the clinic that bears her name should be allowed to advertise abortion services on television. I pass on the particular topic but do wonder about naming a clinic after an unpleasant eugenicist who sent Hitler a volume of love poetry with a gushing covering letter (it's a good job this didn't come to the attention of Unity Mitford or some serious bitchslapping would follow), was in favour of sterilisation of 'defectives' and people of mixed race and cut her son out of her will because he married a woman who wore glasses. Not a nice person.
While on the subject of Hitler, something or the other I read reminded me that Eamonn De Valera as Irish Prime Minister actually sent the German ambassador in Dublin a message of condolence on the death of Hitler. In this respect he was unique among European neutrals. What possessed him remains a mystery.
Finally, a new biography of Leon Trotsky reminds the punters of his more unpleasant trauts such as maintaining discipline in the Red Army by a policy of summary execution for assorted miscreants. Which would take us neatly to the Stranglers and No More Heroes but embedding is disabled by request. So let's have The Who and Won't Get Fooled Again instead...
Today's breaking news story is that the Israelis are at it again. They really don't know where to stop - as in haven't the remotest idea. I may blog on this again when I feel slightly less incandescently angry. I note in passing that the little squirt Hague is proposing - with impeccable timing - to end the universal jurisdiction law that has incurred so much Israeli displeasure.