Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Speaker to stop speaking

I don't know whether the Poms actually invented perks for politicians, but they seem to have brought it to a fine art. For example: thousands of pounds of taxpayers' money claimed for the cleaning of one's moat!

As they say in the classics, it's a bloody crying pity that, were it not for a chance investigation, this droopy old Glaswegian named Michael Martin could have carried on eternally walking ceremoniously into the House of Commons behind the woman carrying a mace. He must have gone on a gigantic ego trip every time he waddled in this way into the chamber. Silly old bugger! He should have kept a check on expenses. It's all very well to waddle, but somebody has to weigh the wealth of all those honorable gentlemen sitting in the Commons, and often claiming uncommon personal benefits. And this was Michael Martin's job. As things stand, he's obliged to resign.

The web reveals outrageous financial benefits accorded to British members of parliament. Michael Martin grew up in harsh conditions. Why didn't he remain close to his origins, instead of strutting around in London in golden robes? I have neither pity nor nostalgia for archaic Poms who see themselves as historical fat cats. I'm tremendously proud to be a citizen of the French République!


  1. William: in this piece you contrast the United Kingdom unfavourably vis-à-vis the république de France.

    Rose-coloured spectacles surely?

    For a start, isn't a popular ex-Président about to appear before the beak - and he is lucky - tales circulated in England ten years ago about safes stuffed with cash at the Elysée.

    Second a search on Google of the words "Sarkozy je te vois" should further confirm that all is not well here in other areas!

    And not forget that as always, the "tip of the iceberg" concept must be borne in mind as in any Western "democracy"

  2. Paul: In my short article, the final paragraph, mentioning the République, might suggest that I consider that everything has always been lily white in France as far as perks for politicians are concerned. This, of course, is not the case. I was merely insisting on the British specificity of the events that the Daily Telegraph is revealing massively on a daily basis.

    Funnily, it's the kind of affair that (a) "shouldn't" have happened in the context of the institutions of the United Kingdom, in which the role of the Speaker was to prevent MPs from spending wrongly the people's taxes, and (b) could only have happened in Britain, because of the particular mix of ingredients characterizing the affair.

    An interesting aspect of the affair (apart from anecdotal elements such as Peter Viggers using public money to build an elegant duck house) is the way in which the vast data files in question (some 200 computer disks, all produced, not by smart journalists, but by the excellent accounting services under the direction of the Speaker) were apparently offered by a mysterious X to the best bidder. After refusals from the Times, the Sun and the Daily Express, the offer was finally accepted courageously, for an undisclosed sum, by the Telegraph. You have to admit that all that is very British.