Tuesday, 24 January 2012


Sickened as I am by the quality of debate on the independence question, I have looked elsewhere for a subject to post on... and I didn't have to look far.

As each and every one of us "ordinary, decent, hard working families up and down the land" (don't they realise how patronising that is) cuts and trims their budgets, it appears that, despite calls for them to, and their promises that they will, cut the cost of bars and restaurants in Westminster, the subsidy we pay these 650 members has, according to the Telegraph, risen to an unbelievable £5.8 million. (£8,923.08 per person per year.) For every £10 an MP spends on lunch now, the public contributes £7.60; last year the sum was £6.90.
 The menus are mouth watering, I warn you in advance, so be prepared:

Artichoke and tomato salad with truffle dressing: £2.05;
Seared breast of pigeon with aubergine purée and spiced couscous: £4.15;
Spinach, ricotta and sundried tomato pizza with a rocket salad: £2.75;
Roasted half spring chicken with stuffing: £2.95;
Risotto of pea and broad bean with goat’s cheese: £2.40;
Char-grilled rib-eye steak with hand-cut chips and béarnaise sauce: £7.80;
Green tea and white chocolate brûlée: £2.05;
Cheese board: £3.10.

And Pugin Room bar prices include a glass of malt whisky, Cointreau liqueur or Grand Marnier: £2.55; Glasses of 2009 Sauvignon Blanc or 2010 Merlot: £2.35.

And at these prices, our brave representatives do a power of drinking. They spent £1.33 million in the last financial year in the bars (£2.046.15 each). Given the subsidy, imagine what that would have been in real prices. 

But Holyrood cannot claim much superiority here. The Edinburgh parliament restaurant was subsidised by £80,000 in the last year (£620 per member).

The meal prices are equally mind blowing with smoked salmon and beetroot lax with potato blini, herb cream cheese capers and spring onions at £1.40.
and seared salmon with herb crème fraiche potatoes, braised celery and soy cucumber relish a mere £4.80.

Any restaurant on the Royal Mile would laugh at these prices. And with bar prices at less than £3 for a malt whisky, the bar is being subsidised at around £130 per member.

On average MPs are paid around £66,000 and MSPs around £52,000 per annum. With average salaries around the £25,000 mark, no one could say that they are not reasonably well paid. Surely it is unnecessary for the public to subsidise their eating, and absolutely unnecessary to subsidise their drinking! Something to think about if we are really "all in it together".

However, the laugh of the week has to be our favourite nut job, the Sarah Palin of English politics, Nadine Dorries, who tweeted about the state of the Westminster restaurants:

Erm, we are, you silly old sausage!


  1. Subsidising politicials and their staff really sticks in my craw Tris.

    It should be stopped immediately. There's no reason for it other than insulting the population.


  2. Aye SR, mine too. Specially their drink. Not many work canteens serve drink, and even the ones that do it's not subsidised by us.

    If they want drink they should pay for it at commercial rates. It's not that they are hard up. Between 2 and 3 times the average wage shouldn't leave them going hungry!

    Or thirsty!

  3. Now we know where the Courier got it's cook book ideas from.

    I think Nadine sums up why our country is corrupt and going down the plug hole.
    Pretty faced nonentity allowed to rule over us. Loud mouthed, hypocritical adultress and expenses trougher.
    A disgusting reflection of where our political society is at the moment...

  4. I lost the earlier post, blogger buggered it up.

    I said basically the cafés, canteens and restaurants are open to all employees at Holyrood but in Westminster there is a hierarchy of rights.

    So the subsidy per MP in Holyrood would be less.

  5. I lost the earlier post, blogger buggered it up.

    I said basically the cafés, canteens and restaurants are open to all employees at Holyrood but in Westminster there is a hierarchy of rights.

    So the subsidy per MP in Holyrood would be less.

  6. Now it has posted the last one twice


  7. So the mice and the rats eat at the same table How approptiate

  8. Yea, I was thinking about the vermin running around the Palace of Westminster too. But I was thinking about the literal rodents. In a restaurant. ICKY!

    I don't think that taxpayers' money should subsidize fine dining for all the Lordships and Right Honourables. But maybe a few pounds for an exterminator might be a good idea. ;-)

  9. Umm! wonder what fatty salmond(the lard of holyrood\) is costing the Scottish peoples by the size of his gut...............quite a lot

    I heard he doesn't choose from the menu he just scoffs everything on it from one big enormous plate he borrowed from eric pickles

    'the quality of debate on the independence question,

    Yep! well worn Unionist trick get them so fed up they wont even bother to vote.

  10. Well at least Niko is doing his part to raise the quality level of the debate. ;-)

  11. Monty: have you noticed how so many of her photographs are taken from "sessions".

    She's like some Z list celebrity putting together a portfolio of airbrushed pictures.

    I used to be able to laugh at the silly bat, until she pulled a fast one when she was on that tv show, trying to live on Job Seekers' Allowance.

    She had money stuffed down her bra, so she could say at the end of the week...Look, lived on my £63 and had £20 over... We could cut the allowance by £20.

    Evil woman.

  12. Just found this on aye4scotland facebook page:

    An American photographer on vacation was inside Westminster Abbey taking photographs when he noticed a golden telephone mounted on the wall with a sign that read '£10,000 per call' The American, being intrigued, asked a priest who was strolling by what the telephone was used for. The priest replied that it was a direct line to heaven and that for £10,000 you could talk to God. The American thanked the priest and went along his way. Next stop was in Lincoln There, at the cathedral, he saw the same golden telephone with the same sign under it. He wondered if this was the same kind of telephone he saw in London and he asked a nearby nun what its purpose was. She told him that it was a direct line to heaven and that for £10,000 he could talk to God. 'O.K., thank you,' said the American. He then travelled to York , Durham and Liverpool In every Cathedral he saw the same golden telephone with the same '£10,000 per call' sign under it. The American, upon leaving the N of England decided to travel to Scotland to see if the Scots had the same phone. He arrived in Glasgow, and again, as he entered the cathedral , there was the same golden telephone, but this time the sign under it read '50 pence per call.' The American was surprised so he asked the priest about the sign. 'Reverend, I've travelled all over England and I've seen this same golden telephone in many churches. I'm told that it is a direct line to heaven, but in England the price was £10,000 per call. Why is it only 50 pence here?' The priest smiled and answered, 'You're in Scotland now, son ...... it's a local call.'

  13. LOL Wolfie... I get you. Don't worry. It happens to all of us.

    Yes, I've eaten in the canteen at Holyrood, and it's pretty egalitarian. One of the times I was there, the Cabinet Secretary for Finance was sitting at the same table as a couple of guys who had been washing windows. Just the way it should be.

    I doubt if the window cleaners would be sharing the same dining room as Gideon in London, never mind the same table!

    And I take your point about all manner of people using the canteen and being subsidised. On some occasions the Scottish taxpayer has actually been subsidising ME!


  14. We've only got Nadine's word for that Fairfor... and as we know from her past record, that's not exactly worth much!

  15. Yes Danny, an exterminator sounds like a brilliant idea. Who should we start with....?

    Answers on a post card ...

  16. Ah Niko: Unlike John Prescott who only likes Marks and Spencer trifles... while he's playing croquet on the lawns of his country estate.

    I imagine there's a way of finding what Eck's food bill is if you are interested enough to find out. I'm sure you will now redouble your efforts to find something factual... or maybe not.

  17. Yep Danny. You can always count on Niko to er...raise glass... no, no, no, what am I saying.... the quality of erm debate... I mean...

    ...don't I?

  18. I thought pressie liked pork pies but Oink should know.

    Have you got those on DVD Gedguy because they are good.

  19. Maybe he does CH.

    He looks as if he would. :)

  20. They do like sticking their noses in the trough, these Mps,and a wee bit of Swill to wash it all down.

  21. cynicalHighlander,

    All on my PC.

  22. They certainly do auldaquaintance, and that's their business. What annoys me is that they want you and me to subsidise it.

    And yet they carp and criticise the scroungers in our society, although not the ones like the chairman of RBS with his obscene bonus, just the ones who find themselves unemployed partly because of George Osborne's policies and have the gall to claim benefits.

    There's surely not another us and them society like this in Europe.

    Welcome to Munguin's Republic. I just read your story of John. Touching and beautifully written. Thank you.

  23. Ged: Brilliant story...

  24. tris.
    Yes there will be a special place in hell for people like Nadine. Pontificating about family values and the importance of love in a relationship etc while running off with her husband's best friend at Christmas and getting the family on the taxpayers payroll as quick as she can to avoid the new rules banning it.
    If she doesn't like the food in the HoC she can use her £400 a month to eat elsewhere.

  25. Oh Lord, I'd forgotten about that, Monty.

    I guess that makes the subsidy even bigger for the spongers.

    And they talk about benefit cheats... Jeez, Lampposts are too good for them.

  26. Tris

    I know you are busy but I do not think you would want to miss this one.


    Full scale poll with 1000 respondents. I wonder if the BBC will mention it? Silly question.

    Have a look at a couple of the comments and have a laugh.

  27. LOL That's very funny, CH.

    I was wondering about the Newsnight thing that someone mentioned...with membership soaring.

    Every time one of these people who take a superior tone over this opens his/her mouth the membership soars.

    Anyone know what it was?

  28. Thanks Dubs... Excellent piece of work there.

    If the Tories keep on making life more and more miserable here, like telling us that they are spending vast amounts on London, and giving us no consequential, because Crossrail or HS2 or the Olympics is good for the whole of the UK... the feeling that we do well out of the UK will melt.

  29. c22,400+ tris over 1400 since call me opened his mouth and after today's pmqs who knows.

  30. CH at 6.11pm

    That must be the ballot paper.

    Clear concise and to the point, it must meet all the electoral commission guidelines.

    P.S. A TV advert of todays PMQs and last nights Paxo getting stuffed would send membership soaring. Respect, you could not make it up.

  31. Nadine was a nurse, the kind I could cope with giving me a bed-bath ... but not telling me I am evil for loving men, adoring the women's right to choose or believing an an equal 'marital' doctrine.

    So, she can kindly, stick to what she knows ... which is wiping my arse!

  32. LO< @ Dean... You have a way with words!!

  33. That was witty Dean, very witty.