Friday, 15 May 2009

You What...?!?

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.


Mark Wadsworth said...

Seriously, how much does it cost to rent a one or two bedroom flat in the OK parts of London? Somewhere between £7k and £12k a year I'd guess, which they could easily afford to pay out of their £65k salaries.

Obnoxio The Clown said...

Can you believe the cheek of it?

James Higham said...

I can't even afford one home at the moment.

Macheath said...

Heard a good idea somewhere recently; after 2012, turn the Olympic Village over to MP accommmodation.

With central catering and security on site and a fleet of shuttle buses, no need for huge claims for food, police and transport either.

No complicated mortgage deals - the furnished flat goes with the seat. Nothing to stop them buying a house to move into later and nice things to put in it, but they can do it out of their salaries like normal people.

Anonymous said...

It is unbelievable. Every single one of these bastards has committed crimes. Malik needs a damn good shoeing too. Widdecombe is my MP at the moment and God knows what she has actually done as an MP since she declared she was retiring. I'm sure she's been to lots of meetings in between dumb programmes about chavs and toms. After her the Tories have selected another bloody solicitor to take her palce. How many of those bastards are in Parliament? Any way this one is a nice black lady so ticks some if not all boxes.

Umbongo said...


" . . they [journalists] aren’t claiming their salary and expenses from the taxpayer, are they . ."

Unless they work for the BBC of course and, not unconnected I suspect, we get a load of self-serving crap from them as well.

JuliaM said...

"Heard a good idea somewhere recently; after 2012, turn the Olympic Village over to MP accommmodation."

Yeah, one of the callers to the 'Jeremy Vine' show suggested this too.

"Widdecombe is my MP at the moment and God knows what she has actually done as an MP since she declared she was retiring."

I expect her weekly opinion column in the 'Daily Express' keeps her busy...

"Unless they work for the BBC of course..."

Yup, good point.

North Northwester said...

", turn the Olympic Village over to MP accommmodation."

Please, don't. Don't make the MPs live together - they have way too much reason to share a common purpose [ho-ho] as it is.

Half our country's problem is that the pusillanimous bastards share a more-or-less identical world-view; a high-tax, unlimited-immigration, morality-free State-sponsored 'rights' rich kindergarten where the grown-ups tell us what to do.

They just can't compete realistically for our votes because they don't want to offer different world-views for fear of being seen as 'extremist.'
Bunk them down together and the 'them and us' thing will just intensify just as concentrated student accommodation makes town and gown more marked and bitter.

The only way I'd like to see that lot in a village is if they all have to wear little number badges and ride penny-farthings, or one in which they guarantee a good harvest by weaving wicker effigies once a year.

Put them in a boxing-ring though - or even a velodrome - and you'd stand a chance of weeding out the sick and unfit.
Starting with all the Glaswegians...

Macheath said...

NNW - I agree that we shouldn't encourage the insular mentality that normalised fleecing the taxpayer on a regular basis.

However, it's hard to see how much contact with the real world they have in any case. The Olympic Village arrangement (rather than, say, a plushy pied-a-terre nice and handy for the West End and HarveyNicks) should encourage them to spend more time in the constituency with the people they nominally represent.

After all, how else can they appreciate the local services available to their constituents?

Mind you, I did like your wicker man idea - perhaps it could contain the MP with the highest expenses claim to travel distance ratio that year.