Loot or Fiddle
I've still not quite got my head around the recent rioting. However, I can fall back on sarcasm. So, without further ado, and with a nod to the sadly defunct Brunching Shuttlecocks, I present to you 'Loot or Fiddle'. Simple decide whether the item or the quote in question relates to the 2011 rioting and looting, or the 2009 expenses scandal.
1: A case of bottled water (£3.50).
Loot: An easy start; this was, of course, an item looted in the riots. The man in question was sentenced to six months in prison. On this basis, and if the time was proportional to the value stolen, Eliot Morely would have been sentenced to over 4,200 years.
2: "My case shouldn't have been brought before the court... There are so many others who have walked free and nobody is going to say [anything] about their situation."
Fiddle: This was Eric Illsley, former Labour MP for Barnsley Central, on his release from prison. Presumably, he'd be happy for the rioters to just make good the damage and apologise.
3: Women's clothes and shoes, nail polish, baby wipes and comics.
Fiddle: These items were on a shopping list claimed by Phil Woolas, the charming and likable former immigration minister who was eventually ejected from parliament for his interesting campaign literature.
4: A pair of shorts
Loot: Despite having slept through the riots, and taken a single item from a haul made by her lodger, Ursula Nevin was sentenced to five months in prison, much to the delight of Greater Manchester Police. She has since been freed on appeal.
5: A £2,600 home cinema system
Fiddle: Whilst it's certainly possible that a particularly ambitious and well-prepared looter could have carried off such a system, I was thinking of the one claimed by former Justice Minister Shahid Mailk. The Fees Office actually picked up on this one, and after some haggling the taxpayer only subsidised Mr. Malik's TV to the tune of £1000. Bargain.
6: "This is copycat behaviour. There's a sense that some people don't have the kind of barriers and discipline that people in the past have been brought up with"
Loot: This is a quote from Hazel Blears. The same Hazel Blears who has the kind of barriers and discipline that meant she flipped her second home several times, avoiding £13,332 of Capital Gains Tax, and, when caught, assumed it would be OK to simply pay the money back.
7: Iams Senior cat food (£3.69)
Fiddle: Whilst it's easy to picture rioters throwing a bin through the window of Pets At Home in order to steal scratching posts and catnip mice, this was in fact one of several pet-related items claimed by Welsh Tory MP Cheryl Gillan.
8: A "hip hop" bed (£550)
Fiddle: I have no idea what makes a bed hip hop, but Labour's Ian Lucas bought one on expenses. He also got an £838 sofa bed, presumably for when he's feeling less gangsta.
9: "This is criminality pure and simple"
Loot: This was David Cameron, speaking directly after a COBRA meeting. Although it could just have easily been about MPs a couple of years earlier.
10: Over £22,000 in 4 days
Loot: The amount of money donated to Let's Do Something Nice For Ashraf Haziq (+ Others), a website created in response to the treatment of a Malaysian student who was mugged, twice, during the riots. This outpouring of support was just one of the positive stories to come out of an otherwise dire week of news.