There is a committee of the House of Commons which secretly meets and decides which among their colleagues should be honoured with a portrait or a statue.
And they spend hundreds of thousands of pound glorifying themselves for posterity, like they were important which of course they sincerely believe themselves to be.
Of course I could accept that, incompetent, inefficient and self serving though they may have been, ex prime ministers have always had a portrait down to hang in Downing Street, and Speakers have traditionally been painted for posterity; they form part of the history of the country. But the names of some of the subjects that have been painted leave you gasping for breath at the audacity of this committee wasting money while people go cold.
The subjects themselves are nominated by this committee, and only have to agree to be painted. They do not put themselves forward.
None the less I can't help but wonder at their vanity that they accept that your money be wasted on them.
It is a cross party affair too. The only person who comes out of this Daily Mail article with any credit, is Harriet harman, who originally agreed to be painted, but withdrew when she found out how much it would cost the taxpayer.
I thought you might like to see some of the daubs that you paid for, because stuck up here in "North Britain", and it being a day's journey to the grand imperial capital, you are unlikely to actually see the real things for yourself.
One of the things that amazed me was the difference in prices... This little beauty cost nearly £12,000
And one of the reptilian Iain Duncan Smith cost £10,000, possibly because it had to be done at night!
Bercow, the current Speaker, sometimes called Squeaker, for no reason that immediately springs to mind, except maybe his rodent like actions, apparently was afforded the amazing sum of £37,000 for this.
Ming the merciless was painted at £10,000 (why?), Ken Clarke at £8,000, Wee Willie Hague only cost £4,000, possibly because they didn't have to do hair.
Betty Boothroyd, who, as Speaker i would have accepted been immortalised once, was done three times, presumably incase they lost two of them. That cost us £18,000.
Some were much cheaper. Left wingers Dennis Skinner and Tony Benn came in at a much more reasonable £2,000, although I can't see why they were done at all.
For some reason beyond understanding Pete Wishart was only deemed to be worth a photograph, although why he was included, I simply don't know.
Needless to say Bair was done (on one occasion, a portrait of him was criticised for showing an abnormally large head. I wonder why that occurred to the artist!)
And of course Thatcher was immortalised (ye gads) in a statue which cost £150,000 was decapitated, but another one was put in the House of Commons right opposite Churchill, whom she always called Winston, like they were mates or something! (It is likely that they met when she was a junior MP and he was PM, but highly unlikely that they were on first name terms. He would most likely have sent her to make a pot of tea, or get him a brandy!)
Munguin is hoping that he will be nect to have his portrait painted, or maybe, he was thinking, a statue in bronze. What do you think?
Some more portraits for your enjoyment...
|What a shine on that ...|
|You made it Chic|
|The bird is prettier...|
|Another one Betty?|
|Mug of tea and a pipe...|