THE LAST DITCH An Englishman returned after twenty years abroad blogs about liberty in Britain
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"I had no in-service training"

A man surely does not need "in-service" training to know right from wrong. Or does he? This film is a metaphorical bathyscape from which to peer out in wonderment at the depths of human stupidity. Hard though it will be for anyone capable of reading this post to imagine, such people really do exist. And they are sometimes elected to Parliament. It seems that Councillor Terry Kelly is not the most stupid member of the Scottish Labour Party after all. We owe Fidel's biggest fan an apology. Sorry, sir.

Sadly for Jim Devine, M.P., ignorance of the law (and of all morality) is no excuse; perhaps least of all for a legislator! Hilariously, his lawyers had issued a statement in his name (and that of their other MP clients) saying they would not be giving an interview. Watching this video, I can quite understand their reasoning. I watched it picturing their faces as they viewed it and laughed even harder.

This interview is highly incriminating, not only of Devine but also of the fools who voted for him. I tip my hat to "Dundee wifey" Subrosa. She quotes the old saw that Labour voters would elect a monkey wearing a red rosette. Frankly, in this case, that might well have been a more intelligent choice.


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Shug Niggurath

Loved the Terry Kelly reference, he's a card so he is. And a secret pleasure of a select group.

About this 'printers' invoice. I worked in the print game until 2007. 20,000 full colour, double sided, folded, A4 flyers would be about £500. Tops.

So a FIVE AND A HALF GRAND printers invoice would be mental.


It's fraudulent accounting, contrary to the Theft Act. He's going to gaol, just as you or I would. So is his printer if he issued a false invoice to help him do it. Let's hope Devine just photocopied a real invoice and submitted it twice (an action that - let's face it - would feel wrong to any sentient life form). The amazing part is that (against legal advice) he was really dumb enough to confess on live TV. I have owned more intelligent shoes!

As for you, dear reader, I strongly advise you to to get yourself down to your local library to become more familiar with the laws of your country. Ignorance really *is* no excuse you know.


My point is that the behaviour is not criminal in the recognised sense. Breaking the rules yes; criminal no.


Sadly, I have come to the opinion that of the many and various humanoid species that have existed in the past for some reason it is one of the most stupid that has survived, possibly as a freak of geographical location during one of the geophysical species wipe outs of the distant past. Survival of the dimmest?


You aid "A man does surely does not need "in-service" training to know right from wrong. Or does he?"

In NuLieBore's Britain I'm afraid he does. He can't climb ladders or use a screwdriver (perish the thought he might want to use a chain saw), change an electrical socket, put an extra light up in his garage, or anything that might offend the Safety Elf.

In offcies it's the same, training courses for everything - fire awareness, security, how to sit in your seat at your desk, how to position the monitor, bullying, diversity, dealing with customers, dealing with ethical situations, competition issues etc etc etc etc.

So the (no doubt) publically funded lawyer representing this particular piece of footscraping filth will probably make a good case that he hasnt had the "it's wrong to steal from the public" course, closely followed by the "right way to forge a VAT receipt" training. He's actually a victim of the system and needs counselling.

Not my fault, govnor!


If your budget is subdivided into categories, it has been constructed like that for a reason. Any expenditure over the amount set for a given category is deemed excessive and as such is not authorised.

Mr Devine clearly overspent our money on his staff. His assertion that he didn't personally benefit is purely pie in the sky. His chance of retaining his job is directly related to the service he and his staff give to his constituents, as such he stood to personally gain about half a million quid.

Do you see?


In my book there is a world of difference between fraud/theft and misrepresenting the purpose of a 'legitimate' expense for which one is seeking reimbursement.

Devine points out in his interview that it is common practice in organisations to charge a budget that is underspent with an item that belongs in a budget that is overspent. So for instance if ones travel budget is up against the stops and one has to make an urgent trip then few would worry about charging, say the repairs budget, if that were underspent. I know from experience that it is standard in many Government departments to seek to be invoiced in the current financial for work that would normally be invoiced in the next financial year if they are underspent and likewise to seek a delay in invoicing if they are overspent. Creative accounting? yes cooking the books? yes, but hardly criminal.

Devine is clearly not he sharpest knife in the drawer but from what I saw in the interview he did not set out to defraud anybody when charging an expense that belonged in the staffing budget to the communications budget.

Be fair Mr P.

Mr Eugenides

As I said at Dale's blog: now you see what we have to put up with.

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