Bring Back Unpaid MPs

Douglas Alexander and David Miliband in the Grauniad waffle on piously like shop stewards about work hours for MPs. But what caught my eye was a line that the traditional hours were designed for a time when “unpaid MPs looked into the chamber after a day spent at the Inns of Court or the City.”

Well nowadays City partners work ungodly hours. Mrs Fawkes is a City lawyer slaving away for an American investment bank and her hours are horrendous. 80 hours a week are common, 120 not impossible, yet the House sits for less than 40 hours a week, and MPs (apart from Dennis Skinner) never attend for all sitting hours. Hardly hard work in comparison.

Guido thinks MPs should be unpaid and part-time once again. That way they would do less damage. There would still be plenty of blowhards desperate to become MPs in any case. Did Britain need professional, full time politicans to run an empire or defeat the Nazis? No. Today we don’t need them to approve EU directives either…

Blair’s Aznar Solution

Guido has heard a rumour that Blair has asked the Cabinet Secretary and the Cabinet Office to look into the constitutionality of him remaining PM after resigning as Leader of the Labour Party. He would then serve a full third term as he promised, let the Labour party select their leader to fight the next election, but allowing him to stay on in a caretaker capacity, rather than resign as PM straight away. This is the “Aznar” solution, after the former Spanish PM Aznar who resigned as leader of the People’s Party to allow a successor to be chosen to fight the upcoming election.

Propeller Head Wonk Watch

Ross Clark in The Times draws our attention to a new pamphlet from Demos about some imagined Pro-Am Revolution. Haven’t you noticed it? No me neither. But apparently all the enthusiasts in the community tidying up their village greens and organising Jam pots for the WI need a New Deal for Communities. Uh, oh. “Government should … invest … community … professional … infrastructure … responsibility … policy intervention … Lead users should play a larger role in foresight exercises to chart the future course of innovation … Pro-Am communities are the new R & D labs of the digital economy”. Recess Monkey calls such buzzword bollocks Bullshit Bingomanagement consultant speak applied to political policy making. (New Labour junior ministers drone it out all the time.)

Demos’ wonks conclude with this utter drivel “the new driving force, creating new streams of knowledge, new kinds of organisations, new sources of authority, will be the Pro-Ams.”



What it will really mean is taxpayers funding more Grauniad adverts for Pro-Am Initiative Co-ordinators, Pro-Am Benchmarking Analysts etc. In the real world most people dread the phrase “We’re from the government, we’re here to help”. When will the wonks understand – LEAVE PEOPLE ALONE!

Pompous Statement on behalf of the Follets

The Torygraph’s Spy column has obviously stung the Follets with this; “Champagne socialist MP Barbara Follett has been under fire for claiming £20,000 in expenses to pay a mortgage on her London pied-à-terre, even though her £2 million constituency house in Stevenage is an easy half-hour commute to the Commons.”

Because on her hubbies’ website is this;

Statement on Barbara Follett MP’s parliamentary expenses

Barbara Follett makes no financial gain from being a Member of Parliament – in fact her work is heavily subsidised by her husband, Ken Follett.

The expenses she claims from the House of Commons Fees Office amount to less than half the actual cost of doing her job. She puts her entire salary back into her office, taking nothing for herself. But, as this does not cover all the costs, Ken subsidises her.

In the financial year 2003-2004, it cost Barbara £275,695 to do her work as the MP for Stevenage. Two thirds of this amount went on paying her staff in her Stevenage and Westminster offices.

But she claimed only £118,214 in expenses. She contributed her entire salary of £55,118 to meet some of the difference. The remaining £102, 673 was met by Ken.

Ken Follett said: “I’m not complaining – I’m very happy to help Barbara serve the people of Stevenage in this way. We have released these figures only because some newspaper stories have given the impression that our lifestyle is being subsidised by the taxpayer. In fact, it’s the other way around.”

Barbara and Ken Follett

Doesn’t your heart bleed for the Follet’s scrimping by on their multi-million annual income…

Blair Heart Flutters

Story on CBS that Blair to undergo operation for “Heart Flutters”

UPDATE: He is to undergo a catheter ablation. Nothing to worry about. See here. If it was me I’d be shitting myself – involves numbing the groin, wire catheters in your groin. It can be heated -STOP I DO NOT WANT TO KNOW ANY MORE.
UPDATE: 1/300 chance of death.

UPDATE: Tells Marr “Will not serve fourth term” – Doh!
UPDATE: “Brown in danger of laughinging to death” denied.

Milburn Sends an Uncoded Message – Why?

In a code that Guido has managed to decipher, Alan Milburn said it would be ‘an enormous privilege’ to lead the party. That suggestion pisses off supporters of the Chancellor, who regard their man as having bagsied the top job whenever it becomes available. ‘It would be an enormous privilege to be Labour leader, but there isn’t a vacancy’, Mr Milburn said at a fringe event last night, adding: ‘Who knows what the future is going to bring?’

Tough code eh? Are the Blairites deliberately using Milburn to wind up Brown, to focus his ire away from Blair?

Once Upon a Time…

Once upon a time there was a King, his daughter the Princess was very unhappy. The King was very busy waging war on his enemies. The Princess ate a poison apple. The King was very worried and full of despair. But the Princess awoke. The King told all his Knights to keep it secret. The Knights only hinted at it. Then a Lord bragged about it. The King was very angry.

Hain Lets Out the Secret – Ssshhhhh

Apparently Downing Street wants Kerry to win. According to Peter Hain, a man known to shoot his mouth off from his left hip, Blair is rootin’ for Kerry. Or maybe Hain is rootin’ for Kerry. Dangerous ground methinks, Look how Howard has felt a not too gentle chill wind blowing from Washington. Particularly as Kerry looks increasingly likely to do a Dukkakis impression.

Anyway I doubt its true the religious-neo-conservative-power-crazed-loony dislikes his opposite number in the Whitehouse. Whilst we’re on the subject has anyone seen the famous Blair cowboy boots? Better still do you have pictures?

About Guido’s Blog

Editorial Paul Staines & Harry Cole – Editor and News Editor Alex Wickham – Reporter Simon Carr – Sketchwriter Whisper tip-offs: 07092 840 531 Fax us secret documents: 07092 012 997 Cartoons by Rich Johnston. Origins   Guido’s blog was started in September 2004. The choice of the Guido avatar and character was deliberate, the […]

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Quote of the Day

Brendan O’Neill on the coverage of Jo Cox’s murder:

“I don’t have very high expectations of the British media. But even I am shocked at the speed with which sections of it have sought to make political mileage from Jo Cox’s death. Pro-Remain journalists, swathes of the broadsheet set, are already discussing her death as a consequence of Brexit campaigning, as a foul spin-off of foul politics. They’re saying that of course Brexiteers aren’t directly responsible, but… that wretched “but”, which means “but they are responsible”. Remainers are already pointing a collective finger at the “political climate” cultivated by Brexit and suggesting it nurtured this murder. I thought they would wait, a day perhaps, before marshalling this tragedy to their cause. But no.

Politically exploiting a murder, morally blackmailing Brexiteers to tone down their campaign, and inadvertently diminishing the culpability of the killer by suggesting “the climate” bears some responsibility for what he did — I think it’s possible the British media has just reached a new low, the lowest low.”

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