Friday, 29 May 2009

Perhaps His Constituents Should Send Him Gordon Brown’s Book On Courage…?

Southend MP David Amess knew just what to do when confronted by the local newspaper with questions about his expenses.

He ran away and cowered behind the skirts of a hairdressing salon owner:
MP David Amess ran from the Echo to avoid questions after his expenses showed he claimed the maximum of £400 for food every month for the past four years.

The Tory MP sought refuge in a hairdressers’ as he tried to duck the issue.

He eventually made his escape when a car arrived at the salon in Westcliff and drove him away, with Mr Amess hiding his face behind a leaflet.
Could he have avoided this embarrassing episode?

Why, yes:
Mr Amess has refused to answer or return phone calls about the expenses affair, so the Echo tracked him down while he was out canvassing in Westborough ward in Westcliff.
Good for the ‘Echo’! But what did the patrons make of the sudden appearance of this harried vermin going to ground in their salon?
They said Mr Amess had explained to them we wanted to talk to him about expenses and he admitted claiming for a second home.
One customer, who did not want to be named, but lives in Milton ward, said: “He should explain himself. Running like that makes it looks worse.

“All the MPs should be exposed for what they are. They get a salary and that should be enough. They should live off of that, like the rest of us do. It’s such a scandal.”
Heh…!

It seems he chose that salon not just because it was the nearest bolthole, but because he could count on a sympathetic ear from the owner, if not her customers:
Manager of the salon, Lisa Haggerty, said: “I know Mr Amess and he has helped me out in the past. He’s always very helpful and hard working.

“If the money is for taking people to lunch or tea for constituents when they visit his surgery, that’s fine. If you work for a big firm you get an expenses account and so should MPs.”
Err, that’s certainly true, Lisa, you do indeed get an expense account.

The difference being, if caught padding it or misclaiming, you’ll be sacked rather than elevated to the House of Lords.

And it isn’t taxpayer’s money, either, extorted from us by a government agency backed by the power of the State.

Apart from that, it’s exactly the same. Stick to highlights, love, and leave the political commentary to the grown ups.

7 comments:

Clarissa said...

I wondered if you'd mention this given that I spotted you had commented on the story on the Echo's site.

Hopefully he'll decide to step down like others are doing (and claim his payoff) because I have no intentions of voting for him when general election comes.

Witterings From Witney said...

Julia,

Like all the other cases, but especially in this one, you could say it is another bit of 'Amess' for David Cameron!

Macheath said...

Might one conclude that Mr Amess' consumption of £400 of free food a month - in his second home alone - has left him in no shape for a sustained chase by presumably more athletic and less well-fed reporters?

Hattie Jacques' Pretentious Cheese Wog said...

This is the same absolute bell-end who was successfully conned by Brass Eye into asking a question in the Commons about the fictitious drug 'Cake'

Von Spreuth. said...

“I know Mr Amess and he has helped me out in the past. I am sure he DID lassie.

Perhaps the "accidental, but ENTIRELY "legal" removal of double yellow lines outside you shop?

A little "trouble with planning permission for a shop exention maybe?

A little cash on the side? A "favour" in a hotel room that can be hired by the hour?

Just to "ease" the process of COURSE.

Yes WE have seen "yes minister", and "all the Presidents men" and read Jeffery (I am innocent) Archer, as well girly.

Von Brandenburg-Preußen.

JuliaM said...

"I wondered if you'd mention this given that I spotted you had commented on the story on the Echo's site."

Yup, that was me!

From the comments in the article, it seems to be regarded as something of a safe seat. Well, we'll see...

"...it is another bit of 'Amess' for David Cameron!"

Lol!

"...in no shape for a sustained chase by presumably more athletic and less well-fed reporters?"

Heh! Good point.

"This is the same absolute bell-end who was successfully conned by Brass Eye into asking a question in the Commons about the fictitious drug 'Cake'"

Ahhhh, yes! It was mentioned in the comments, and I checked him out on Wikipedia - what a moron!

"I am sure he DID lassie."

At least we can be sure, judging from the photo, that he doesn't take his benefits in kind by way of hairdressing services.

Either than, or her hairdressing skills are as poor as her grasp of politics...

Clarissa said...

From the comments in the article, it seems to be regarded as something of a safe seat.Indeed it is. The Southend area has been a conservative stronghold since 1918 so unfortunately I expect Amess to get in without problems even if this is plastered across the seat from now until election day.

It'd be nice if he decided to bugger off before then but I'm not holding my breath.