The first thing you are asked to say when you are going in front of a selection meeting to be adopted as a parliamentary candidate is that you are going to live in the constituency. Since you are also going to spend 60 per cent of your time in London, this means you are going to have to have two homes.Fine. Let’s build you all one in the middle of London, or buy out a hotel. It’d be cheaper.
Most people cannot afford two homes. I could never have afforded two homes. We do not want to go back to the situation in the middle of the last century when the only people who could afford to be MPs were the very wealthy, on our side, and the trade-union sponsored on the other side, so it is right that the public pays for an MP to have a second home, and for the necessary upkeep.Well, that’s a bit of a dilemma, isn’t it?
Go back to the situation whereby a few massively-unrepresentative folks lorded it over the people who elected them while rewarding their favoured interests, or…
I’ll have to get back to you on that, Anne. I’m having trouble seeing any difference at the moment.
This takes the bloody chocolate-covered biscuit though:
When you are spending most of your time in London, you have to pay for someone to cut the grass. Who else was going to cut my grass? The cat? The cat did not even live in my second home.Oh, poor you! Your job takes you away from your garden. So, naturally, the taxpayer must pay for your lawn to be kept under control. It’s only reasonable…
Look, lots of people have jobs that take them away from home – the costs of these kinds of small annoyances are naturally met out of their salary. After all, no-one forced them to do the job in the first place, did they?
I have called for a dissolution of Parliament, but there is a genuine worry that if people become disillusioned with all the main parties because of this, they will turn to the extremists.Yup. And I’m betting that’s exactly what will happen. Perhaps you should have borne the cost of mowing your own lawn after all?
Nah, that’s crazy talk!
But I must say having people from the journalist profession passing judgement on anyone's expenses is a bit like having Satan heading a commission on sin.Oh, ho ho ho.
The big difference being, of course, that they aren’t claiming their salary and expenses from the taxpayer, are they? And I’m not forced to buy a newspaper or watch a news show. I am forced (via taxes) to pay for you and the rest of your trough-swilling cronies.
H/t: davidncl in the comments at Obo's.