Friday, 25 March 2011


There are good things and bad things in life, some very closely associated. For example, it is good that ice cream is so delicious, and bad that it makes us fat; it is good that a glass of wine with dinner after a hard day’s work is a relaxant, and it is bad that some people, having had one glass, can’t stop till the glass crashes to the floor as they fall off their chair.

And so it is with our Westminster MPs. It’s good that we can always count on them to be generous. Unfortunately, the pity is that we can only count on them to be generous to themselves.

So it was with sadness but little surprise that I heard of the decision, after months of whining and moaning and gnashing of teeth, along with horror stories about the £66,000 salary not being enough, and these poor people forced to travel second class on public transport and not have their children up to London (it’s always “up” to London, Oxford and Cambridge, have you noticed?), that it has been announced that the rules on MPs’ expenses are to be relaxed. (Didn't take that long, did it?)

The subject was little mentioned in the run up to the election, except by the party leaders who, to a man, were adamant that the end to greed had come upon Westminster. But within weeks of MPs securing their almost triple average national wage salaries for a job that largely involves being rowdy and nodding their heads, they were back to demanding a better deal for themselves.

And so the day after they announced that despite the fact that last winter 9 elderly people died every hour in the UK due to cold related illness, they were going to reduce the allowance given to the old for heating, it was announced that MP would receive more generous expenses. Well, thank goodness none of them will die of the cold next winter, for what would we do without them? Hmm

Under the reforms, MPs with families will be able to claim up to £2,500 extra for each child under 18 to cover the additional costs of a larger second home to accommodate them. I wonder what an extra £2,500 would mean to a pensioner on £6,000 a year... 1/11 of an MP’s salary!

Also MPs who live within what would normally be considered reasonable commuting distance for "ordinary people" (a woman on the Richard Wilson documentary on British trains commuted from Reading at a cost of £4,000 a year), will now be allowed to have second homes in Westminster. So back to how it was before, because we can’t have VIPs standing around on stations waiting for 2nd class carriages on trains that are regularly late, cancelled or at best either overcrowded or dangerous.

Everyone is tightening their belts; everyone is hurting, apart from the royals, the lords and the bankers, everyone is feeling the pain of the financial sector’s excesses. We are all in this together, but at the same time, to make MPs' precious wee lives easier, and so an unspecified amount of what we have saved by making it more difficult for MPs to thieve from us, is to be given back to them.

One of these days the worm will turn. We just can’t go on and on getting slapped in the face...


In fairness to Dundee MPs, when the pay rise was announced last year Jim McGovern said that we would refuse it and Stewart Hosie said that he would take it and give the money he received to a local charity. Both were commendable (although the latter meant that the money came to Dundee, whereas the former left the money in the UK exchequer to be spent 9/10 in England). I trust they will continue to take a decent attitude and won’t be claiming a penny more in expenses because the party leaders and that ridiculous little fop of a speaker have folded their tents to demands by MPs for more more more. For certain I’ll vote for no one who shows greed in this matter while “ordinary people” are going without.


  1. "were adamant that the end to greed had come upon Westminster." Pure and absolute truth. Parliament is dissolved during an election.
    As soon as they were back...................
    It is a disgusting and despicable situation and we are a stupid race and nation to meekly accept it.

  2. Agreed OR. Time for a wee bit of truth telling, and if they won't listen, then we'll need to tell them more forcibly. I have the feeling that that may be just around the corner.

    One thing I'll say for Cameron; it was a piece of dastardly cunning to get Willie Hitched just at the end of April when the tax increase comes into force, and the reduction in benefits is felt.

    The marriage doesn't matter; they were pretty much living together anyway and I imagine that it is to the testament of the pill that we aren't already blessed with another member of the Windsors to keep. But the hysteria surrounding it all will make around half the population forget all their woes. A good day to bury bad tax increases.

    He's not a complete moron, our Dave. Close but not quite.

  3. tris

    and your point is?


    and you actually thought having the Torys in power things would be different oh do come on.

  4. Lovely “New politics” in action! Doesn’t much matter after their going back on “call me’s” categorical assertion that he would not change, in any way, the cold weather payment for pensioners (in response to what he said were Labour lies that he would) there is not a single promise that I do not believe they would break in breathtaking haste. The pond life having reached the slime at the bottom of the pond is now intent on digging its way through to Australia. No more surprises! Nasty, nasty, nasty!

  5. Mr Mxyzptlk - I am not surprised in the least - they are all the same. The only reason they are i9n politics is for themselves and it shows with things like this.

    Plus we have the situation with Scottish MPs actaully getting all that money and expenses for doing absolutely bugger all but interfere in English matters so people like yourself cannot complain about anything as you are quite happy to keep this unearned gravy train going for these MPs.

  6. Yes Billy, we need to drastically reduce the number of Socttish MPs at Westminster... by around...100% shall we say?

  7. Niko, I'd have thought my point was pretty obvious....

  8. I'm trying to think of a promise they've kept. Probably they've done something good about inheritence tax....?

  9. These shocking cold related deaths, does this mean that Westminster is responsable for the death of so many of their people.
    and they go on about gaddafi killing his people, when will the people of this country get a no fly zone or at least a no freeze zone.

  10. Billy

    I find it much strange the British people and Westminster (The true Parliament of all the British peoples)

    Allow and fund people who in their actions and beliefs are intent on destroying a nation.
    Who are in a minority in Scotland and the UK
    the truth is they should all be rounded up and placed in Prisons.
    and their groupings banned and forbidden with harsh legal sanctions applied against any who break the ban.

    Any political Party which advocate the ending of the British nation is in my opinion no more or less a danger than a mad bad .

    suicide Bomber

  11. Niko, put that cooking sherry back!