Incoming Government ministers have a chance to decorate their office with paintings and other objet d’art from the huge government art collection which reposes somewhere in the Whitehall cellars. By all accounts the collection is more than able to meet most tastes, even that of the most iconoclastic socialist bent on wearing his heart on the wall.

This then makes all decent people wonder why it is that the Ministry of Defence feels the need, in an era of belt-tightening all round and at a time when they are struggling to equip our young men and women engaged in the business of war with the requisite equipment with which to have the best chance of coming home to kith and kin, to buy yet more works of art, an example of which worth £ 18,000 ex. VAT appears at the beginning of this post. It looks like a piece of tat to me, but then I have conservative tastes in art.

Not only works of art seem to have caught the MoD’s fancy: the 3,150 chairs that cost £1,000 a throw (that is an eye-watering £3,150,000 of taxpayer’s money!) One wonders what sort of chairs they were that cost a thousand pounds: the mind boggles at the sort of luxury that is involved here.

One is also astounded that the Taxpayer is expected to fork out £348,000 to buy no less than 134 Widescreen Plasma TVs for the use of these little piggies who seem to have their noses so far down in the trough that they may yet disappear inside. Just for those of you who do not have a calculator at hand, these TVs cost on average £2,597.02 which rather suggests they were at the top end of the top of the range models.

Quite why these Pampered Poodles need these items at all is beyond me. I daresay that they would tell you that they are kept permanently on BBC World News or SKY News and are never, ever used to watch the Golf or the Racing or the Cricket and are thus indispensable tools for keeping themselves informed.

I for one do not believe that for a moment and find myself curiously impelled to have every last one of them dragged from their boudoirs in the MoD and booted up and down Whitehall until they get the message. And if they need to ask what the message is, then they shall be booted up and down a few times more.

At the same time one might also enquire of our Minister of Defence, one Des Browne, what his explanation for this profligacy is. If he is there, of course, and not doing his other job as Secretary Of State for a Devolved Scotland. And upon receiving the usual mendacious reply, he too shall be booted up and down Whitehall.

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