18 February 2010

Comedy Genius

'Sir' Nicholas Winterton, who has already made an arse of himself with his fellow-MP wife over renting his own property, has, as I'm sure you've heard by now, said that MPs 'need' to travel first-class

Guido's already picked it up, and I don't really need to have a rant (did that in the car..) but I heard it live and it was brilliant, particularly as he was on to discuss the Falklands..

But what I do want to say is that Stephen Nolan has been brilliant the last few days, he's been covering Victoria Derbyshire this week and he's turned the slot into a Paxman-esque grilling of politicians, far more fun, I wish he'd stay, Victoria is alright, but she wouldn't get him to announce that MPs are a different type of people (although knowing Sir Nick...)

I would like to address a few issues, however

Why exactly was it fair to pay rent for a property he already owned? How is that justified, even if it's an 'allowance' not 'expenses' - that's taking all you can get regardless

Secondly he said you can't get a seat in standard class, that would only apply to rush hour, but he also said children travel in standard class - I've never experienced children in rush hour, at 7am there are no seats, but also no kids

Furthermore, he's from Macclesfield and has a London flat...so he's not a commuter and wouldn't even be on a train in rush hour...hence he experiences noisy children in standard, and hence there would be seats available

I am reminded of that train ad that suggests you go by train (standard class) to get some much-needed work done rather than having to drive...apparently not MPs

I also found this from his local paper 

And I drive with my wife to and from London, which is vastly cheaper than the train, and I also subsidise my travel with my salary." (April 2009)

So when the hell is he claiming for first class travel?? He claims 6 grand on it, not a low figure - he says he's cheap but that's overall and down to an incredibly stingy office budget - generally I'd say office budgets are far more beneficial to the public, and they don't go on the individual but staff and costs

This also raises the issue of MPs standing down - why should we be subject to this sort of behaviour? Because he's not going for re-election he can do absolutely anything, he might as well start waving a Nazi flag around for four or five years, MPs should be subject to some sort of scrutiny, not given five years of complete freedom, perhaps we need a power of recall in these cases

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