Sunday, 30 May 2010


I was really delighted to hear the other day that Mr Cameron and Mr Clegg had clamped down on some of the expensive perks to which ministers have got accustomed over many years.

From now on ministers were to travel second class on railways as other MPs now have to do (unless they felt, as Mr Winterton did that the kind of people they would encounter in cattle class were completely beneath them, in which case they could pay for their own upgrade). No longer were they to have chauffeur-driven cars, we were told, to take them wherever they wanted to go. There was to be car sharing.

Whilst of course it is understood that there will be times when they will require to use cars, they were told by their bosses that, where it was possible, they should use public transport, share cars or walk. The idea was to save around £3 million on ministerial costs, and of course to set an example to the rest of us. The “we’re all in this together” message doesn’t really wash if it can be read as “you’re all in this together”.

So it was with disappointment that, only days after that announcement, that I heard that the Environment Secretary, Caroline Spelman, was found to have used a chauffeured limo to take her the 400 meters from her home to her office. Now I would have thought that Ms Spelman’s coat might already be on a shoogly peg given Nannygate, and the fact that she charged £40,000 for cleaning bills (yes, she must be some dirty sod) for a second home, when her husband described it as their main home. And that’s without mentioning her over-claimed council tax, and the fact that her husband’s (and hers, according to Wikipedia) business may conflict with her current post.... So altogether, if I were her I’d be watching all my Ps & Qs before my backside got fired... but no, she summoned a car to take her 400 meters, because her boxes were too heavy... Awww. It was only 400 meters. I’d have used my gumption and made two or three trips! But she’s only a minister.

Another junior minister took a car, complete with chauffeur, to France for a Dunkirk ceremony, presumably because he wanted to look important turning up with his own chauffeur driven car, rather than depending on being picked up at the station by his French hosts. Clearly Junior Minister Mr Robathan needs a kick in his pampered backside from his boss. Incidentally, a look at his Wikipedia page does nothing to reassure me about him. He seems like runs off at the mouth, to the disgust of even his own side on occasions.... and he thinks that, as an MP, he was worth £110,000 a year! Nuff said.

Apparently, and quite rightly, it is unheard of for a car to be taken abroad. Ministers of the Crown have to be invited to go abroad on official business and cars are sent for them by their hosts. Wise-up fella!

It’s early days, and people will make mistakes at the beginning, but it’s little things like this, that even the meanest intelligence would find easy to solve, that start to really tick people off about up-their-own-backside, self-important ministers.

Messers Cameron and Clegg need to stamp their authority on these people tout de suite.


  1. That rubbish was a typical example of the crappy spin I voted to get rid of. Very disapointed over the silly and utterly avoidable affair.

    Spot on Tris.

  2. Tris

    This is after the Augean Stables of Westminster has been swept clean?.....Oh dear!

    Poor old Tris he wanders about like Diogenes
    with his lamp looking in vain for an honest Con/Dem politician

    Diogenes said:
    "I am Diogenes the Dog. I nuzzle the kind, bark at the greedy and bite scoundrelsna

    Diogenes said:
    "I am Diogenes the Dog. I nuzzle the kind, bark at the greedy and bite scoundrels

  3. I love "New Politics"®. Such a refreshing change to the old one! Oh no its not: heavy on talk, light on action.

  4. Obviously Mr Robotham did not realize that the Dunkirk evacuation was done by boat not car.

  5. Tris only for 'the little people' and not for our betters sometimes i wonder if you are a closet 'socialist'.

  6. Niko,

    Poor tris is destined to do a lot of barking and biting among the Labour party. Can I suggest he starts with Labour Lords in public at Hampden and sell tickets? National debt solved in a couple of weeks!

  7. tris,

    One of the first things you used to be told when working for the Labour party and presumably it's the same for the MPs is that you claim for the dearest flights to London even if cheaper seats were available. The "perk" could be worth £150-£200 pounds per week around ten years ago so should be worth much more now.

    My organisation demand receipts for every penny spent and I'm sure that any attempts at a "fiddle" would have severe disciplinary consequences. I cannot see why our well-paid "representatives" could not have similar rules and consequences.

  8. The problem with Brownlie is he is stuck in a time loop in which the Labour party are master of the universe....

    Someone explain(nicely) to him its not 1979 anymore.

  9. Well, thank you Dean.

    I think it's a case of one junior and one middle ranking minister getting well above their station in life rather too early in their careers.

    Why can't these people see that we might have a wee bit more respect for them if they behaved like the rest of us do?

    As for the wee prat with the narrow mind arriving in France in a British chauffeur driven car. What kind of an impression will he have made?

    It's always the ones near the bottom of the pile that act like they were Caesar, before they have even found the way to the toilet in their own departments. I bet the nyaff waited for his chauffeur to come round and open the door for him too. It’s a wonder he didn’t have a trumpeter like the Queen does when she opens parliament.

    Watch out Junior Minister, Munguin’s Republic is watching you!

  10. Niko,

    The "problem with Brownlie" is that he remembers the stated hopes and aspirations of the original Labour Party which bears no resemblance to New Labour.

    I can recall talking to Labour MPs who were demanding that nuclear weapons should be banned and I can see the same "comrades" now voting for the replacement of Trident, wars in foreign countries and voting against any investigation into how that war started, the amount of casualties or how the success of the invasion should be measured.

    The only way the Labour Party in Scotland can achieve these original aspirations is to start from scratch after independence|

  11. Wasn't in vain Niko. My lamplight fell upon several ere long. They are everywhere. Amazingly this week there haven't been any Labour ones, except of course all the pompous faux socialists that have found their way, ermine clad, to the red benches.

    The next time we do the stables, we'd best get some nice Parazone and give them a deep clean... unlike the dicht they got last time we shouod steep them for a week in a concentrated solution.

  12. Brownlie... it's not 1979. OK?

  13. LOL LOL LOL @ Munguin... by boat ... ha ha ha , very good my son.

  14. LOL too at Niko.

    Of course I'm a socialist matey. I just believe that my socialism shouldn't be the kind that is discussed over claret in Islington, but the kind that actually helps working epople to work, and to live decent lives in a society that is every bit as much theirs as it is the likes of Tony Blair.

    It's people who follow the Labour party of the likes of Blair that are not socialsts. They trot him out to go to Sedgefield Labour Club, which I imagein has been disinfected specially for the occasion, and he says a few words about his roots (yeah Tony they do need touching up; you're beginning to look seriously OLD), and the faithfull swallow it. Then he gets back in his limo, with his body guards and straight to the airport for the flight to Cannes where he and Cherry and meeting some of their yachting frineds for the weekend.

    I want Scottish socialism for Scottish people.

  15. Aye Brownlie, I'm thinking that we might do a double act there... we could coin it in!

  16. Tris,

    It's not 1979 - bugger! I thought I was still twenty!!

  17. Brownlie. I was working for a very small organisation a few years back. You know, the kind where everyone pitches in for everything. One minute you're going for the milk; the next you're actually making the tea.

    Well, one day I went to Lidl for all the domestic stuff, you know, washing up liquid, toilet cleaner, soap and toilet rolls. It came to £16 or thereby.

    When I got back to the office I discovered that I had lost the receipt, and I was told that I couldn't have the money (although the stuff was there in front of the boss) because they needed a receipt.

    [Funny part of the story was that I went back after work, and bought around the same amount of stuff again for my own use so i could get a receipt, but I got the same lad at the checkout. In the morning I'd bought about 100 toilet rolls and I was back at 5 pm for another 100.... I got a very funny look; maybe it was sympathy!!]

    The point of course, of the story is that like you I could get nothing back without a receipt. I can't imagine how any auditor can sign off accounts without receipts for every last penny. How these people could manage to fiddle plane fares like that is just beyond belief.

  18. Brownlie... well, that's what Niko says...!!

  19. Brownlie.... Would these people you remember doing all that "socialist" stuff, be the same ones that, as we speak, are being measured for red robes and ermine hoods, and practising saying "my noble friend"... tutored by wee fat George?

    Here's a wee poem about Georgie:

    Georgie Porgie pudding and pie
    Kissed the girls and made them cry.
    When the boys came out to play
    He kissed them too
    (He's queer that way).

  20. I had to sit down for a minute and take a deep breath. Dean agreed with Tris, yippee lol.

    Yeah its all very well for them to say they will clamp down on exorbitant travel but do they really mean it? Hmm I guess not.

    I travel over to Glasgow a lot by choo choo and always travel business class. However if MP's are being told to travel in standard class as well them I'm going by first class.

    I don't mind paying a little extra if it means getting away from the rift raft.

  21. Sorry I should had wrote that I always travel standard class. Must be Con/Dem side of me.

  22. Hey Mr Business Class Allan...

    LOL. Dean and I have agreed before you know. I think it was back in '47 dontcha know... LOL Not true, we've agreed since then. Honest we have.

    Well, yeah Allan, I don't think you should have to mix with MPs. According to the unlovely Mr Nicholas Winterton, they are not the same as ordinary people. Well, I'd agree there. We're certainly not the same as Mr Winterton, thank goodness!!