What a pleasure, Bob Piper has linked to me saying I am a "fearless investigator of dodgy dealings in public life". Slight problem, I'm actually just an IT geek who is also a card-carrying Tory with a habit - unhealthy some might say - of writing about politics and attacking the Government. However just to keep him happy I will post about it as the whole point he seems to have been making is that Tory bloggers don't write about Tories.
So, for anyone reading this who hasn't already read Guido's post on the subject, apparently a load of Tory MPs have entered in the Register of Members Interests (over a period of time) flights to places that have been paid for by a company called Flying Lion which is apparently registered in Bermuda but controlled by Lord Ashcroft.
Apparently there is something "whiffy" about these publicly made entries on the Register, because the company Flying Lion is not registered in the UK. However, the rules in the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 states that MPs can accept donations from foreign people or organisations if the purpose of the donation is to pay for the travel costs. The travel costs registered are to be calculated based on commercial rates too.
So... errmm... I'm not sure what the problem is exactly. Interestingly Bob Piper also noted that I (and others) might "maintain an embarrassed silence" about the 'sordid' affair. Precisely why I should be embarrassed that some MPs accepted a legitimate donation from a company controlled by a senior Tory peer in terms of travel costs and then registered it as per the rule is beyond me.
But hey ho! No doubt my relaxed and confused attitude to it all will merely reinforce the view that I am playing something down or refusing to investigate a errr.... "Flights for Gifts" scandal because I'm a partisan. Such is life!