Google ‘DWP benefit fraud’ and see what happens to ordinary mortals who fail to notify the DWP of their sexual and house-sharing arrangements. Or are named in an anonymous Stasi-style tip-off. The internet is awash with horror stories.
The DWP is implacable. They dump people in court on the flimsiest evidence. They pursue them like terriers. They laugh when asked for mercy. Look what happened to this poor lady. She lost her home. She had to leave the country. The DWP wrecked her life.
David Laws should consider himself fortunate if he’s not prosecuted. He’s a millionaire, probably a multi-millionaire (he’s a former Vice President at JP Morgan and headed the US Dollar and Sterling Treasuries division at Barclays de Zoete Wedd) so should not have claimed Â£40,000 expenses in the first place. A number of independently wealthy politicians refuse to claim. Laws should have put greed on one side, and avoided stuffing his pockets with public money.
I see Laws is congratulating himself on his website about his expenses-related virtuousness. That should be removed. Holier-than-thou Liberals, caught with their pants down, irritate the voters.
Laws is now in an impossible position. He should resign. It’s no good his supporters bleating about the Daily Telegraph’s political agenda, or making up stories about how Laws actually saved the taxpayer money. The notion that the public should subsidise Laws’ gay-in-the-closetÂ privacy demands is ludicrous. The claim that Laws and his expenses claims can’t be attacked owing to his sexuality and, as a consequence, criticism is disguised homophobia, is contemptible.
The longer David Laws leaves it the worse it will get. If he won’t resign Cameron should sack him. If Cameron dithers, Clegg should do it. But can Clegg sack Laws? Has Clegg lost control of the Member for Yeovil? I suspect he has.
Peter Mandelson returned to high office three times and finished in ermine. David Laws, assuming he stays out of prison, can return in a year. It’s no big deal. Let him concentrate on looking after his Yeovil constituents. He can help them deal with the DWP.