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30 May 2012

Them & Us

Expense oversight

Baroness Warsi says it was all an oversight. Her Ladyship, Tory peer and vice-chair of the Conservative Party, allegedly took taxpayers' cash for expenses for hotels while sleeping at a friend's house as "her main London residence", seemingly for nothing.

Claiming money for overnight stays in London while staying at a friend's luxury pad for free was not unusual in the sleaze-filled days of Blair and Brown. But MPs and Lords of all parties now supposedly get closer investigation of expenses claims.

Warsi is a Cameron-backing Tory and has spoken out in favour of his government's attacks on working class families who get housing benefit to help cope with high rents. What do you think Warsi would say if one of these families accused of irregularities called it 'an oversight'?


Mark Zuckerberg, the billionaire boss of social network Facebook, is facing several lawsuits after a public sale of the company's shares nosedived, losing investors $2.9 billion in the process.

But while small investors got their fingers burned Zuckerberg, having been previously informed that the share value would decline, sold his stock early saving himself a cool $174 million.

Tax dodger

The people of Greece were rightly outraged when International Monetary Fund (IMF) boss Christine Lagarde accused Greek people of dodging taxes. Alexis Tsipras, the leader of left-wing party Syriza pointed out that "Greek workers pay their taxes which are unbearable" and have seen their wages shrink.

Perhaps Lagarde was confusing the Greek people with the Greek capitalists - or even with herself. As IMF director she gets a salary of 298,000 - tax free.

Wedding bell blues

Tying the knot in this age of austerity is a major expense for couples, but that didn't deter London-socialite Rasha Said, a Tory party donor and daughter of a shady arms dealer. Her multi-million pound wedding, held at the Palace of Versailles, France, and attended by plenty of bigwig Tory party supporters, was one of the most expensive private weddings ever held. The celebration included a 15-foot high cake and a live performance by Robbie Williams. Guests were instructed: "If you want to buy us a gift we are registered at Harrods".

Footing the bill was Rasha's billionaire father, a friend of Margaret Thatcher and former Labour minister Peter Mandelson.

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