Friday, October 22, 2004

Meanwhile, Down On The Pig Farm

It's one thing to have firm views about politics and ideology but actually supporting a political party is a sign of mental illness. From time to time, there may be politicians whose policies are slightly less disasterous than than their opponents but, when all's said and done, they're all weasels - as exemplified by the revelations about MP's expenses.

Here's Britain's most expensive MP on her shafting of the taxpayer:

Merseyside MP Claire Curtis-Thomas.....

And the rest of you can STFU. She's a foreigner, born in Wales and all her previous experience was there and in Birmingham.

....topped the first published list of expense claims paid out in 2003-4 with her total of £168,889.

On Friday, the Labour MP said she was pleased the public could see the list.

"It is an irony that the MP who spends more will be working hardest for their constituents," she said.

"I ensure that I fully represent the community I have been elected by and therefore require high operating costs.

"I always have and will continue to work the hardest I can for my constituents."

Leaving aside the question of how she defines irony, how come these people never say this about the Army or the Filth ? The same freaks of nature who babble about 'effiency savings' are now trying to convince us that them taking a blowtorch to our cash means they must be doing a good job. What if she spent twice as much ? Would Crosby be a paradise on Earth ? And why does working hard mean your travel costs go up anyway ?

It gets better:

The expenses claims for all MPs totalled £78m - some £20m higher than two years ago.

But, of course. Clearly, the price of stamps must have increased 40% in that time.

The payments were defended by Sir Archy Kirkwood MP, from the House of Commons Commission, who said MPs faced greater workloads than ever before.

"They now deal with issues, and communicate in ways unheard of a few years ago," he said

...with words and everything.

"They require more back-up staff, more computer resources, and more allowances to enable them to travel back and forth to Parliament, living away from home for days at a time, while keeping in touch with the problems and issues of their constituents."

Well, Hell - let's dump all the IT then you won't need all the extra staff, right ? I'm starting to grasp why technology policy is such a train wreck in this country. Meanwhile, crack researchers are investigating when it was that MPs didn't need to travel back and forth to Parliament. It's just a hunch, but I'd guess things are a little easier now that, for example, ol' Platinum Card Claire can travel from London to Liverpool in less than three hours by train. Maybe it's the same syndrome which means office automation means they need more staff ? Back to the horses and buggies!

But former Conservative MP and journalist, Michael Brown, says the money spent overall is reasonable, costing every voter about £3 a year.

Shortly before announcing that the public should eat cake. Honestly, with political instincts like that, these guys should ready to sweep back into government by about 2278.

Labour MP David Winnick, who claimed £75,000, said MPs should submit their tax returns to the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner for checks - as happens in America.

Not in our lifetime. Transparency is for the little people.

He suggested the Freedom of Information Act would mean BBC journalists would have to reveal their expenses claims and he argued newspaper editors should follow suit.

Fantastic! Two sets of arrogant parasites get nailed by the same piece of legislation. Of course, it's still worth asking why we need the FOIA to force a publicly-owned Corporation - one which keeps preening itself on its supposed exposes of everyone else - to reveal where our money goes.

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