Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Are Members of Parliament just Spoilt Children?

"MPs are now treated like shit," complained Tory MP Alan Duncan, in what he thought was a private conversation with Don't Panic editor Heydon Prowse. "We're forced to live on rations since the expenses scandal broke."

Duncan, if you missed it during the recent flurry of expenses scandals, caused a ruckus by claiming over £4,000 of expenses to cover 'gardening costs' - something he was later forced to publicly apologize for and repay. It's apparent his apology was a hollow one, though:

"I spend my money on my garden and claim a tiny fraction based on what is proper," he hissed bitterly, "and I could claim the whole bloody lot, but I don't."

One might wonder whether maintaining the gardens of his constituency home in Rutland should be classed as ‘wholly, necessarily and exclusively part of Parliamentary duties’ - as all claimed expenses should be - but that particular issue didn't seem to phase Duncan.

[Shouldn't that be 'faze' - Kitty Copy Editor and Suki]

"It's just, I'm afraid the world has gone mad," he sighed. "Life as an MP has basically been nationalized. You have to live on rations and are treated like shit."

This coming from a man making over £65,000 in Parliamentary salary, in addition to claiming over £120,000 to cover the cost of his mortgage payments - all on top of the financial security of being a self-made millionaire.

The fact that men like Duncan feel that they're living on 'rations' - despite earning a base salary that's twice the average income in the UK - just shows how out-of-touch these 'professional politicians' are.

Duncan spends more on lawn care per year then I did on rent when I lived in the UK - but he still feels justified in making the taxpayer pick up a percentage of that cost.

I hope Duncan's candid comments hit home to the apathetic voters of the UK. Its about time we started electing people who stood for causes and issues, rather than just choosing politics as a cushy career to grow fat on.

Unfortunately, though, Alan Duncan is utterly unrepentant about his slip-up.

"I'm sorry that I was so generous in inviting Heydon Prowse to the Commons for a drink," he complained - more upset about his own words coming back to haunt him than the disturbing impression left by what he'd actually said.

I actually prefer the Conservative party, but I'd still have no qualms watching this oaf get ousted in the next general election.


Suki said...

While I quite agree that these spoiled brats need to be thrown out of the Parliament, I'm not entirely happy with the practices of the "Don't Panic" editor. While it's indeed stupid to divulge something to a news editor and expect it to stay off the record, a private conversation shouldn't end up being an unsolicited interview, should it?

And the Editorial Bear in me adds - it's "unfazed", not "unphased", unless I'm much mistaken.

Roland Hulme said...

Yes, nobody will be inviting that editor for drinks again any time soon!

And I think it IS 'faze'... D'oh.

Kitty Copy Editor agrees - I have added a little amendment above.

Anonymous said...

Well Heydon Prowse hasn't been receiving this much publicity since he was a kid. But then Duncan himself is little more than a narcissistic immature personality. It's shocking that any political party would tolerate a buffoon like him in Parliament.

Suki said...


Editorial Bear and Kitty Copy Editor - I love your naming!