The inspiration for the name of this website comes from Sir Peter Viggers who must be the most grasping Member of Parliament ever to have disgraced the halls of the Palace of Westminster.
This appalling man lived just outside Gosport, within spitting distance of Portsmouth Harbour mainline station from which many thousands of people regularly commute to London. Not satisfied with receiving a more than decent salary as the Tory MP for Gosport, with a gold plated pension and the various other perks attributable to the job, this former lawyer and banker (surprise!) had to claim his country mansion as a second home – no commuting for him!
When the Telegraph investigated MPs’ expenses it was revealed that during 3 years he claimed from the public purse more than £30,000 for “gardening”, including lights for his christmas tree and nearly £500 for 28 tons of manure. But the crowning glory was more than £1,600 he claimed for the floating duck house illustrated here.
Ironically he was earlier knighted for “services to parliament”. What does that tell you about the honours system?
Under pressure from David Cameron he resigned in consequence of his disgraceful greed, but seems to think that the slate has been cleaned because he put the duck house into storage (apparently the ducks didn’t like it), although there were reports that he moved it to his chateau in France. He then announced that he was considering auctioning it for charity.
Once again he demonstrates arrogance beyond the call of duty – who authorised you to give taxpayers’ money to charity Viggers?
The one good thing to come out of this whole episode is that the duck house became a trademark of the expenses scandal and has inspired me to take a few photos of other duck houses that have been paid for by their owners.
The first is a rather cute specimen near Letchmore Heath in Hertfordshire:
And one from Mill Hill near the supposedly haunted Nan Clark’s Lane:
And another near Tring:
This one was photographed by some geocaching friends of ours near Stratford-Upon-Avon:
I’ll add more photos of duck houses as I find them, but feel free to send some in to this site and I’ll publish the good ones.