Wednesday, 28 October 2009


Moan, moan, whine.

That’s what we got when the Legge letters started landing on the doormats of MPs a couple of weeks ago. They moaned again about not having done anything wrong. (Like we hadn’t heard enough of that!) Then they moaned about having to pay the money back, and then, as if they hadn’t moaned enough, they whined about how unfair it had been because they had been expecting, indeed had been promised, the letters at 2 o’clock and then at 4 ... and you wouldn’t believe it.... the poor wee mites, some of the letters didn’t arrive until after 6. Bless them. What a to do. Fancy having to wait around half the day for a letter!

They moaned that it wasn’t fair that they had to pay back money for having their houses cleaned and their hanging baskets watered, and they moaned that it wasn’t fair because the rule book hadn’t said that they couldn’t. And in a way, they were quite correct.

From what I could see of the rule book it never once said. “You cannot have your house cleaned at the public’s expense. Nor may you have your garden looked after ditto”. I’m guessing that the rules’ authors assumed a modicum of intelligence in the MP class and/or just a smattering of the much vaunted moral compass. On that basis the House of Commons Green Book made clear that expenses could only be claimed if they were “incurred wholly, necessarily and exclusively in the performance of their parliamentary duties”.

Enough said, I think. If you can’t be an MP and carry out your duties without having your garden watered, then you have a choice: don’t be an MP; don’t have a garden; pay for the garden to be watered out of your own pocket, like the rest of the country has to do. That's not so awful, is it?

Now with today’s Kelly Report, another wide range of recommendations which the Prime Minister (when he set up the enquiry) promised would be accepted in full, and another outbreak of moaning and whining. No more mortgages interest; no more spouses and offspring employment; no second homes within London. You can hear the whining from here and the report hasn’t been released yet.

But nothing unfair is being proposed (at least from the leaks, or disclosures so far). Nothing that wouldn’t be considered quite fair in “ordinary” people’s lives. I mean, no one else can buy a house and speculate with tax payers’ money in the way that MPs can (except perhaps peers), and, in no other public service can close relatives work directly with each other. No public employees are paid arbitrary amounts; nor do they work away without a close check on their absenteeism, time keeping, conduct and performance. Why should MPs' staff be any different?

Accusations that the proposed new regulations will make it impossible for poorer people to be MPs are ill-founded. Accommodation will still be provided in London for those who are in need of it. It will now, however, be rented accommodation. MPs will still be able to employ people to work for them, but now they will have to be employed on a regulated basis. Just like everyone else. What’s off putting in that?

What I say is: You get paid three times the average wage for a job which requires no training and no qualification. You start on the top rate. All you have to do is satisfy your constituency party that you’re a good bet for winning. In the bulk of constituencies you are guaranteed a job for life. Now stop whining, stop moaning and get on with your jobs of holding the executive to account. So far you've been useless at it.


  1. Oh aye porr wee MP,s. No more second homes, no more capital gains tax, no more £25 daily summit allowance and much much more oh and if they stay in the London area then they will just have to commute.

    They asked for change and by golly they got it so they can hardly complain.

    Thousands of people comutue for up to 4 hours in one day (2 hours there and 2 hours back) yet cant claim second homes etc.

    Great idea to get them to rent a flat instead of buying and this £60,000 pay off when they lose their seat is a rip off. 2 months wages should see them through until they can find another job.

  2. Spook:

    I think if they hadn't been completely over the top they would have got away with it. I doubt anybody much though about it after they had that sort out with the Nolan Inquiry.

    We all forgot about the brown envelopes, and the Hamiltons were just a memory of a rather hard, aggressive, irritating amazon of a woman and a pathetic hen-pecked woose of a man.

    In a way we may have signalled it was ok for them to continue troughing when we allowed the media to make stars of these people.

    Whatever. In the end it was their fault. We may have sent the wrong signals, but theft is theft, and loads of them are thieves. Not all of course, but rather in the way that everyone on benfits has been labelled by successive governments as dole cheats, they are all copping for it now.

    In your own words .... wee shame.

  3. Did you see the whining Tory on BBC this morning? I assume he was a Tory. He was having a wee whine, then one statement caught my ear. He said that he would be retiring at some point and would probably only fight the next two elections.

    I detect a sense of entitlement. No MP should be thinking about the election after next, never mind expecting to win. There is a problem when half of the seats are counted as 'safe' and therefor the MP in question doesn't really have to give a toss about what the electorate think. All parties suffer from this problem, and only a change to some form of PR will solve it.

  4. Sophia:

    You are spot on there. I'm not sure about the figures but someone on radio recently said that in reality no more than 250 seats ever change hands, so 400 odd are as safe as houses.

    I didn't see the bloke you mention but I heard some Tory MPs wife and she was shrill and indignant. Sense of entitlement was exactly what crossed my mind. I bet you Jacquie Smith's old man on £40,000 for a £20,000 job is well hacked off. He'll have to go to work now.

  5. They would have got away with it if Gorbals Mick had got his way. He wanted MPs expenses exempted from FOI legislation that same as the Royal Families expenses are. One can only imagine how titanic HM the Q, Big Ears, and Fatty Andrew’s expenses are. Let’s face it they don’t like to stint things when others are paying. We all know how cheap the Queen is when it’s her own money she is spending, it must have broke her heart when she had to pay tax. So I am sure that they do just what the MP’s did and feather bed their luxury nests with expenses. Tax detectable don’t you know.

  6. Roger Gale's the name, and he is a Tory. He has just been on the BBC whining again. He was bleating about poor Housewife-MPs having to commute for an hour each way, attend committee meetings AND wash nappies.

    Like he cares.

    He's also whining in the Independent, but ah cannae face any mair...

  7. Mr Munguin keep yer hair on!

    We'll get to them, but let's chew on the MPs for a bit longer. That bunch can go with the Union.

  8. Sophia:

    If he doesn't like the conditions, there's an ideal opportunity for him in the next few months to stand down, cop a pile of money in severence and ... go away, get a new job in the new Tory Britain.

    I hear that they were asking what they would do if there was a late night sitting and there was no transport home.

    So I thought, well they have about 5 months holiday a year, why not shorten that by 3 months like the rest of us, then they wouldn't have to be making laws in the wee small hours...and they wouldn't have to ask someone for a lift or ask a mate if they could stay over, like the rest of us would.

    Brainless arses. And they work in parliament ... No wonder we're gubbed!

  9. Spohia: Can we spit them out after we chewed them. Seriously we can't let this drop. After the Nolan Report we took our eyes off them, and as soon as we did that their fingers were back in the till adn their little pink snouts in the trough.

    In fairness Munguin, as these things go, the Queen is actually a cheap date. Even with our money she's tight as a drum. It's her ghastly sons that spend it like it was water, and Mrs Parker Bowles is to put it mildly profligate with our dosh. She's had to wait till she was old to get her hands on it and now she's making up for lost time.

    I feel a post coming on over Andy and his idiotic interview to the Telegraph, but I guess it's old hat now.

    Sophia, why don't you write a blog. You'd be so much better than me!

  10. Sophia: I will leave the MPs to you and the others on here. But as a rabid republican I will always go for the Royals or at least remind all that they have been at that trough for centuries.

    Tris: we have no idea how generous Brenda is with our money because it is exempt from FOI, so we are not entitled to know how much our Head of State spends on expenses: go figure that. I imagine that she must be a little profligate as she has to get back what she pays in taxes.

  11. Well Munguin, I admit I have no figures on that, but certainly the women in my family comment from time to time on the fact that (unlike her dear mother) she is wearing the same clobber as a few weeks/months/years ago. And then she hands stuff down to Anne.

    It certainly shouldn't be exempt from FoI. If Lard Foulkes's affairs can be made public I see no reason that HM's cant be.

  12. No it shouldn't be exempt from FOI. For goodness sake that was what the FOI was all about, getting out the info that others wish to hide. I'm with you too Munguin, the whole shebang is rotten and has to go. The hereditary principle has no place in the affairs of state in this century.

    A directly elected Scottish President. Nothing less will do.

  13. Bravo Ms Pangloss. Well said.

  14. Tris..

    OMG I forgot about the Hamilton's. They were the original sleaze rat bags.

    I think the latest count is 130 MP,s will not be seeking re election due to the expenses saga.

    1 in 6 MP's have a guilty thing written over their napper. I'm sure some will be arrested for fraud..wee shame..

  15. Well it was 13 or 14 years ago Spook, but they were a pair of right nasty chancers. They were the reason Mr White Suit Bell went into parliament. I remember being really shocked at the time, but now looking back they were already all at it. The Brown envelopes that the repugnant Hamilton got are nothing to the housing scandals (including ducks' houses), and shelving and re-wiring and tree surgery of today. Not to mention Vinegar Face's hanging baskets.

    1 in 6 Spook. And that's just the ones that are so ashamed that they have to go, or have been told to go. There's plenty of brazen thieves out there that will hang on.

    What's the betting that figure goes up. Frankly if 500 of them went it wouldn't be enough for me.