A blog by Luke Akehurst about politics, elections, and the Labour Party - With subtitles for the Hard of Left. Just for the record: all the views expressed here are entirely personal and do not necessarily represent the positions of any organisations I am a member of.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

MPs' "expenses"

There seems to be a remarkably warped sense of priorities in the British media when the Home Secretary's ignorance of whether her broadband package included TV or was just for internet and phone services has taken higher priority in the headlines for days than a G20 summit on rescuing the global economy.

We've had lots of prurient public laughter about the embarrassment of Jacqui Smith and her husband when given they paid back the tiny sums involved there is no public interest in the details being made known at all. Morally there is no difference between an expenses claim for watching C-Beebies or the more adult channels Richard Timney tuned into - the issue was that it was a wrongly claimed for expense, not what he watched (I assume there could be quite a few MPs and their spouses watching Television X and not sending the bill into the fees office).

On the wider question of MPs' pay and expenses some observations:

  • The vast bulk of the headline "expenses" figures quoted in the press are not expenses at all - they are staff pay. When non-MPs fill in expenses claims at work we don't add a section for the pay of the staff that work for us.
  • Most of the rest is legitimate - is anyone seriously saying MPs should pay for travel on parliamentary business, their office IT equipment or postage costs for casework letters out of their personal salaries?
  • The basic salary MPs get is a good one compared to the vast majority of the population but derisory -even taking into account discounting it for an aspect of voluntarism/public service - compared to jobs of equivalent seniority (and in the case of Ministers scary levels of responsibility) - including the salaries of the newspaper editors getting sniffy about them.
  • MPs need a second home because we expect them to live half the week in their constituency and half in London. If a non-MP had an employer who expected us to live away from home half the week we'd expect to be able to claim the accommodation and subsistence on expenses.

The legitimate debate is about:

  • do we pay MPs enough to get the best people, assuming we want the best people?
  • which aspects, if any, of the fittings and furnishings of a second home should be claimable?
  • what should count as the "second" home - the London one or the constituency one?
  • for seats within what travel time/distance of Westminster does a second home become unnecessary because you can commute?

I would suggest that a quick solution is to find a "public sector comparator" - the Civil Service is an obvious one - and put MPs onto exactly the same expenses regime as the equivalent public servants, and allocate them to one of the civil service pay scales so their annual increments, pensions etc. are transparently linked to it, with Cabinet Ministers earning the same as the Permanent Secretary who reports to them.

MPs need to grow up and stop pretending they can live the lifestyle of someone far better paid whilst publicly appearing to have a salary of only £64k. If they want the better lifestyle they need to accept the scrutiny that will come from having a salary proportionately bigger. Otherwise they should learn to live on £64k, which after all sounds like megabucks to over 90% of the population.

They also need to take a good long look at their consciences and ask if the tax payer really ought to be paying for 88p bath plugs or £700 stereos. Whatever the rules say, I'd feel queasy and morally sullied if I claimed for either. The question they should ask themselves is "this will end up in the public domain by one means or another, how would a reasonable elector in my constituency view this use of their tax money?"

The media needs to decide whether outing the late-night TV viewing of an MP's spouse, and labelling all MPs as chiseling crooks on the basis that they employ staff, send out mailings and travel to and live part of the week in their seats is really going to enhance British democracy.

46 Comments:

Blogger jason said...

Hi Luke,

yeah, and it's our side that is shooting itself in the foot. As you say 88p for a bath plug, has she left her political brain somewhere?

Then Tony claiming as a second home somewhere he does not actually spend the night.

The public are not going to forget this come 2010, and you can say until you are blue in the face that the other side are at.

We are in government and it is us who have allowed these practices to continue, and I'm afraid we will be getting our just desserts at the ballot box soon enough.

With every passing week, it feels more and more like a re-run of 1996-7, with the boot placed on the other foot.

I fear we are doomed.

2:56 pm, March 31, 2009

 
Anonymous Albert Shanker said...

Yes, reform the system as you suggest Luke: of far more concern to me is bonuses city bankers paid themselves, in firms bailed out by the taxpayer.

3:14 pm, March 31, 2009

 
Anonymous Junius said...

Do you understand why this is so delicious, Luke? This appalling totalitarian, who wants to spy on the private life of every British citizen, was hoist by her own petard.

We should insist that MPs are open to scrutiny in every respect by an y citizen, at any time. That might make them think twice about the 'nothing to hide, nothing to fear' argument. Watching pornography is legal (for now!), but how happy is Smith now that the rest of the world knows about her husband's lonely masturbation?
The front page of the Guardian has an article about tracking every single new car in the country by transponder in a few years' time.
We don't want this sort of fascism.

Let the state get off our backs and onto its knees!

3:27 pm, March 31, 2009

 
Anonymous Albert Shanker said...

"Junius" - what are you on about?

3:35 pm, March 31, 2009

 
Blogger opus said...

Life is good.
Last week Hannan gave El Gordo a good kicking.
This week we see Jacqui squirming with embarrasment. Who knows what treat next week?
It looks like we will have a good build up to the electorate kicking this corrupt incompetent bunch out of power.
I feel that there IS a light at the end of the tunnel. A load has been lifted from my shoulders.Though we have to endure these non-entities for now there will come a point soon when we will be free.
Free at last. And I smile to myself as I hum"things can only get better".

4:28 pm, March 31, 2009

 
Anonymous Rob said...

Very well made argument Luke. You are the most sensible Labour blogger on the internet. Keep it up! Rob - a Yorkshire Tory

5:32 pm, March 31, 2009

 
Blogger rwendland said...

> If a non-MP had an employer who expected us to live away from home half the week we'd expect to be able to claim the accommodation and subsistence on expenses.

That's not entirely obvious Luke. Consider the HMRC tax rules for "People with more than one workplace at the same time" in IR490 s3.20. Here is an example HMRC gives there:

Fitz is a make-up artist employed by a large chain of chemist shops. He works five days each week but spends each day in a different shop in a different town. He works in the same shop on the same day each week.

Fitz is not entitled to relief for his travel from home to any of the shops. That is because he travels regularly to each shop and his work is neither of limited duration nor for a temporary purpose. So each shop is a separate permanent workplace.


Should MPs be treated different to Fitz? They also travel regularly from home to the constituency office or Commons (multiple permanent workplaces) on a regular long term basis.

Without special MP rules it is quite likely most MP travel expenses should be taxed, as per Fitz. (But travel expenses from one office to another on the same day is tax exempt.)

8:34 pm, March 31, 2009

 
Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

The comparison doesn't work because all 5 of Fitz's workplaces are within commuting distance of home.

9:17 pm, March 31, 2009

 
Anonymous Rich said...

And you think the G20 has anything to do with saving the Global Economy. If you do then you have been totally brain washed.

In fact the G20 is at the centre of the expenses row. As it is events like this that offer the tax payer nothing but it costs them a fortune.

Capitalism has no answers at all and the only way we will get back on track is if we forget about growth and capitalism all together.

Look around luke, the people are shouting. Demonstrations are getting bigger and more threatening while our political elite just keep ignoring the the voices of change.

9:47 pm, March 31, 2009

 
Blogger rwendland said...

Luke, the MP expenses rules are simply completely at odds with the HMRC travel expenses rules for normal employees.

Another clearly ignored HMRC rule is the "Limited duration: the 24 month rule":

3.14 The test is whether the employee has spent, or is likely to spend, 40% or more of their working time at that particular workplace over a period of more than 24 months. Where that is the case the workplace is a permanent workplace so travel between there and home is ordinary commuting for which there is no relief.

It is probably justified that elected representatives should not follow these rules, but you shouldn't justify on the basis of comparison with "non-MPs".

NP there is nothing in the rules about "commuting distance" - some people choose to commute 100+ miles each way, but that doesn't get then entitlement to tax relief on travel costs.

1:22 am, April 01, 2009

 
Anonymous angry voter said...

Luke,some of your intial points just don't stand up:

'They are staff pay'

Can understand why an MP might need some clerical support in their constituency,but why do they need to claim for additional staff at Westminster.One of the benefits of IT has been the elimination of need for clerical support,why should MP's be differnt?

'Compared to jobs of equivalent seniority'

A truly odd way of trying to measure any job (what seniority?),let alone an MP's which in reality is a split between delegate and social worker.
So maybe the same salary scale as a 'senior' social worker?

An MP is one of the few jobs that requires no qualifications,skill or experience.

What MP's don't get is that nobody is forcing them to do the job,if they feel that they are underpaid / valued then join the real world;there will be thousands of people willing to do their job and join the gravy-train.

'Need a second home to live half their week in London'

Wrong and misleading.
This parliament will sit for a total of 128 days or 18 weeks,yes just 18 weeks.Many people in business,particularly international jobs will spend more time than this away from their homes in hotels.
With the 400 or so MP's that really need to stay overnight in London (as oppossed to those that are too lazy to commute),then I am sure that the government can negotiate suitable bulk rates with appropriate London hotels.

1:46 am, April 01, 2009

 
Blogger John Buckingham said...

Angry voter, do you really think that an MP in a deprived constituency in Hackney is likely to be able to deal single-handedly with the litany of cases of human suffering which land in their in-tray every day? Of course not - so they need casework staff to help resolve real and profound problems in people's lives - do you really begrudge that? Of course, we might argue that a properly public-funded CAB would be better - but you're paying for it either way, and arguably this is a vital reality-check for MPs which keeps them in touch with real people's trials and means they can pull some strings to help those in need. Let's not make vulnerable people suffer because we're too selfish to cough up for the expense of paying someone to help them.

2:47 am, April 01, 2009

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with the prescription for reform and many of the points that Luke makes very well. However, the government has brought it on itself and there is delicious irony in a New Labour devotee attacking the media for being interested in things so trivial. I don't recall you complaining in 1995, 96, 97 when the mirror was held up to the Tories for the same and worse.

'Whiter than white', 'we are the servants now', 'governing for the many not the few'. If Labour didn't want to be judged by a higher benchmark than the rest, they shouldn't have sought to set it in such a sanctimonious and patronising fashion.

8:45 am, April 01, 2009

 
Blogger Diane Abbott MP said...

I agree broadly with what Luke has to say. But I would go further and say that, just as in the United States Congress, there should be a complete ban on MPs employing members of their own families. I know some MPs wives do a genuine job as their secretaries. But I think this is an arrangement that has fallen into such disrepute that we need to scrap it.
I also think we need to move away from the idea that MPs are entitled to buy a second home from public funds. Current MPs should be allowed to retain their current arrangements (I should point out that I myself do NOT have a second home.) But going forward MP's should be expected, either to rent a hotel room when required, or live in blocks of flats managed by the House of Commons authorities. The middle of a property slump would be quite an opportune time to pick up blocks of flats in Central London! Again I know that the last thing that the House of Commons want to do is manage accomodation. But the current system whereby MPs can purchase flats with public money and pocket the capital gain when they leave office is not defensible.
But I am suprised that "Angry Voter " thinks that MPs do not need staff in the House of Commons. I am grateful that he concedes that we need staff in the constituency to deal with constituency matters. But every week I get literally hundreds of letters and emails inviting me to events, asking my views on political issues or lobbying me. I also regularly make speeeches in the House of Commons which require extensive research. Most recently I had an adjournment debate on the Tuberculosis epidemic in Hackney. I could sit at my computor and reply to all the letters and do all the research myself. But then I would never set foot in the chamber of the House of Commons, go to committees or do any meetings in the constituency.

10:54 am, April 01, 2009

 
Anonymous tim f said...

Diane, what if a spouse of an MP is the best candidate available for the job? Doesn't it infringe on their working rights to rule them out arbitrarily? They should not be excluded on the basis of their personal circumstances.

I agree completely with the HoC purchasing properties though; I think that has to be the way forward.

11:15 am, April 01, 2009

 
Blogger Matthew Cain said...

I think this is a really helpful contribution to the debate - not least because you've highlighted the stupidity of opponents on this issue.

I agree with Diane Abbott that employing family members looks bad but with @timf that if you allow MPs to appoint their own staff, you have to allow them to appoint the most well-qualified available which may include family members.

I don't, however, accept your premise that an MP is entitled to financial help with a second home. Whilst I accept that some MPs struggle to get mortgages because of the precarious nature of the job, I don't accept that the taxpayer should pay for 2 homes. There's no read-across here with any comparable job in the public or private sector (apart from trade unions, and look where that got them).

11:21 am, April 01, 2009

 
Blogger Diane Abbott MP said...

I understand the argument that MPs should be free to employ the best person for the job. I also know that some MPs actually marry their secretaries, so these women are obviously eminently qualified.But, at the risk of shocking some readers of this blog, there are too many MPs who who rely on a mix of interns and some wage-slave in a far off constituency office but pay their wife/husband £50,000 to do precisely nothing. The only way to stop this abuse is to ban the employment of wives and husbands altogether. Again, sitting MPs could continue with their current arrangements, but new MPs would be barred from employing relatives. If this rule is good enough for the United States Congress, it should be good enough for us.

11:45 am, April 01, 2009

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The argument about which expenses should be allowed for MPs is really somthing of a red herring. MPs are not the only 650 people in the country who have second homes and demanding working hours - HMRC already has perfectly workable guidelines as what is allowable for tax and what is considered to be income, based on their interpretion of the "wholly, exclusively and necessarily" incurred test which they apply to expenses of all employees. There are also plenty of accountants who could quickly advise on how the HMRC interpret these requirements.

I have yet to hear a valid argument as to why MPs feel that they should be exempt from the same requirements as apply to the general population.

Surely the answer is to move to a system where only genuine expenses are not treated as taxable income - using the same guidelines that apply to everyone else. The remainder of the current pot spent on MPs non office expenses and salaries - could then be allocated to MPs as salaries on whatever basis they think is fit (i'm sure that making no payments at all until that basis is decided upon would i'm sure concentrate minds)- although a small reduction as a goodwill gesture wouldn't go amiss in these difficult times.

There is really no argument for delay on this matter - if the will were there this matter really could be sorted out in 1-2 weeks - we are only talking about a pay structure for 650 of our employees. Set out the general principles and then get someone to do it.

1:08 pm, April 01, 2009

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Having a ban on MPs employing their relatives isn't the answer - they would just employ each others relatives and some very good and conscientous employees would be lost. What is needed is proper policing of the system - in the real world plenty of managers have a direct say over who works for them in their department/team - but the actual recruitment and overall monitoring of standards and compliance with standards/regulations is undertaken independently by an HR department - why shouldn't a similar system be applied to MPs, particularly since the current system has already been widely abused.

Perhaps if the HoC had a proper HR department it could do something to introduce consistent minimum standards among our MPs and their offices - some are truly shocking in how they handle the basics.

1:21 pm, April 01, 2009

 
Anonymous David Floyd said...

"for seats within what travel time/distance of Westminster does a second home become unnecessary because you can commute?"

Yes, this cuts across parties and the political spectrum within parties but I'm genuinely baffled that people who live places that are under an hour from Westminster on public transport would even consider the possibility that the taxpayer should pay for a second home.

What do they expect people to think?

1:48 pm, April 01, 2009

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Absolutely David - for mere mortals HMRC would not try and tax a late night taxi home or even a night in a hotel/company flat where the person was out of range of taxis and had to be back at work early the next morning - but a second home at £24k an annum would be treated as extra income - a suitable set of rules are already there MPs chose to ignore them.

3:55 pm, April 01, 2009

 
Blogger Merseymike said...

Pretty much agree with all of that. Perhaps the staff available to MP's should also be classes as civil servants? I think people are a bit pissed off with so many MP's employing spouses to be their constituency organisers and paying them quite a fair whack

3:59 pm, April 01, 2009

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are you really Diane Abbott?

The one that sent her kid to a public school rather than to the local comp in Hackney, the borough with the worst educational system in London and probably the UK. In other words, just another Labour hyposhite.

Well, that's alright the. You had me worried me for a moment when you were suggesting you understood morals and principles and beliefs ... the usual stuff.

9:52 pm, April 01, 2009

 
Anonymous Rich said...

MPs wages must be in proportion to those who are paying their wages, the tax payer.

Yes lots of MPs work really hard but so do lots of other workers. Outside of London the average wage is short of £20,000 pa. Lots of families have two incomes that don't come close to an MPs salary let alone their expenses as well.

If you want to gain the respect of the voter then MPs should have shown restraint with respect to pay rises and expenses. This whole affair has completely destroyed the trust between voter and politician.

I'm not sure how long this can go on for. Those on low wages are at breaking point and all these pay rises and expenses all have to be paid for. Such abuses are putting our whole political system at risk.

9:57 pm, April 01, 2009

 
Anonymous Rich said...

G20, I see the government brought in its most violent coppers to bash the protesters in London today. Reminds me of the last miners strike around Mansfield when police were brought in from the Met to bash miners, their wives and children.

I find todays pictures very alarming and looks like something from the movies. Very sad that people have no choice but to protest to get their voices heard.

What a lovely counry Britain has become.

10:13 pm, April 01, 2009

 
Anonymous angry voter said...

Diane Abbott

Firstly I would say how much I enjoy your appearances on 'This Week'it's so refreshing not to have the usual robotic / party responses to the topics that come up on the program.

I would however take issue with:

'MPs do not need staff in the House of Commons'

You mentioned your contribution to a recent TB debate and the need for research.
Lets say for arguments sake that there were 20 MP's participating in this debate,presumably all doing research beforehand,so probably 20 staff all doing the same research that one member of staff could have handled for all ?

'But every week I get literally hundreds of letters and emails inviting me to events'

But this is no different from many management positions (OK the letters & communications received are of a differnt nature).
I spent many years in a major multinational (60,000 employees)with the exception of the CEO, nobody had a personal / assistant secetary,the scrapping of this position was the spin off / benefit of the IT / communications revolution.
Sure almost everyone at the time said they wouldn't be able to cope,howls of protest,customer relations would be damaged etc.etc.


'But then I would never set foot in the chamber'

Whilst I am not doubting your own attendance and contribution to debates,but tune in almost anytime the commons is sitting outside of PMQ's,budget speeches and the number of MP's in the chamber seldom reaches double figures.
Where are they?

I believe the real issue is the Westminster 'bubble' 650 people that are in reality divorced from reality,demanding ever more resources and money.(the communications allowance being a recent example).
Whilst the rest of us have to manage on reduced budgets and resources to meet the economic climate.
I can't recall a single MP suggesting how they could contribute to the belt tightening that the rest of us have to do to survive.
Give up part of an allowance maybe?
Travel in economy class?
Do some of the clerical work themselves.
Switch from taxis to public transport?
If they worked in the private sector it would be mandatory.

As we saw last weekend the reverse seems to be the norm with not one plasma TV but two,not one washing machine but two and don't forget the 88p plug.

I would suggest that the behaviour of MP's is a major contributor to the ever declining turnout at elections,you have to have someone to vote for.
Who could possibly vote for Smith,McNulty,Conway,the Wintertons,Mr & Mrs expenses Keen to name a few???????

10:49 pm, April 01, 2009

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"But, at the risk of shocking some readers of this blog, there are too many MPs who who rely on a mix of interns and some wage-slave in a far off constituency office but pay their wife/husband £50,000 to do precisely nothing."

Diana isn't this theft - as a law maker and someone who should uphold the law shouldn't you be rporting the guilty parties to the Police or at least the House authorities?

10:57 pm, April 01, 2009

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rich

It wasn't the police that I saw smashing into banks and terrorising ordinary bank staff - many of whom are the real victims of greedy bankers. Where is your condemnation for these thugs??

11:02 pm, April 01, 2009

 
Anonymous Jessica Asato said...

Absolutely right as usual Luke. But it is really important that we take decisive action on this, and soon, not after months of a review.

11:33 pm, April 01, 2009

 
Blogger Merseymike said...

I have some sympathy for Diane's idea about specific accommodation for MP's - which they would spend very little time in , in any case. but I think the plan was ruled out on security grounds. It would be a nightmare and a sitting target

11:33 pm, April 01, 2009

 
Blogger Mark Still News said...

Parliamentarians are out of touch, with the exception of decent ones such as Jeremy Corbyn & John McDonnell!

UK Parliament is under the Brussels Parliament, which in turn has to do what the Imperialist USA tells it to do!

MP's get perks for doing the dirty work of Capitalist imperialism!

The workers should rise up and overthrow their capitalist oppressors and shut down parliament and then create a modern system where MP's would have to be paid a workers wage and work in the factories and farms 1 day a week tom keep in touch with reality!

12:58 am, April 02, 2009

 
Blogger Mark Still News said...

Diane Abbott MP

How much do you get paid for your TV shows?

What do you think of MP's going down to a workers wage?

1:10 am, April 02, 2009

 
Blogger kris said...

I love Diane. Luke loathes her. She talks sense.

I run my own business. There are lots of write offs available to me.
I can deduct for goods and services I use FOR MY BUSINESS.

I am not in the porn business, so if I were ever to download filemd subjugdation of women, I'd never dream of slipping that into my deductables.

Once again, Luke is defending the indefensable.

What makes me weep is Jacqui Smith and McNumbnuts were the ones running the argument that the economy turns on police pay- the very same people tearing the arse out of expenses.

Sorry, Diane, but your colleagues have let us all down, once again. Roll on Cameron.

11:39 am, April 02, 2009

 
Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

Just to let regular readers know posting will be light for the next week as I am in hospital sorting out a neurological problem that has been affecting my walking. Hopefully normal life and blogging will resume soon.

3:59 pm, April 02, 2009

 
Anonymous Rich said...

Brown saves the world....yippeeeeeee.

6:25 pm, April 02, 2009

 
Anonymous Rich said...

The thugs were a range of people from the typical anti capitalist brigade to pensioners.

The storming of RBS. I am not surprised, RBS staff were stood in the windows goading the anarchists on, waving wads of cash and making gestures. That's not an excuse, it's an explanation.

It is now wrong to protest if you listen to our leading politicians. Our only option is to vote.....which won't work while we have three parties offering no choice.

6:42 pm, April 02, 2009

 
Blogger tory boys never grow up said...

Rich

Pretty pathetic and mealy mouthed ends justify the means stuff I'm afraid - since when have two wrongs made a right.

Nothing wrong at all with peaceful protest - but the violent stuff, mixed with drunken yobbery (and yes this is a factor) and mindless damage and graffiti isn't actually going to change the world and will actually drive people away from whatever causes you think you are espousing.

As for belittling democracy - I'm afraid that is something that our ancestors really fought for and it is not something that we should give up for toy town revoluntaries like yourself who seem to think that there is a better system available. If you think there is and it is not supported by the three main parties could I suggest that you try and get support for it by trying to get people to vote for another party or even form your own party - or even try and get all your friends in telephone boxes to coalesce into a real mass movement.

Alternatively, you might want to go away and read some Orwell and Koestler or similar - so you have a better understanding of where your arguments are leaving.

10:57 pm, April 02, 2009

 
Blogger Mark Still News said...

I have just received an e-mail stating that the personal information in our passports are now available online due to the move for globalized Screening of entries and exits of people in most, if not all countries. These information have been accessed through the Schengen, American, Australian and Asian database.

It is scary that they are doing this now. It does not only invade our privacy, but exposes us to danger, if these information land on the wrong hands. The matter that gives me a fright is that there is no strict form of security to access the site. One only needs to type his name and country of citizenship and the passport's identification page displays. I myself tried to search and found my passport and was totally stunned to see it.

Please click below link

http://www.scrolllock.nl/passport/

12:26 am, April 03, 2009

 
Anonymous Rich said...

Mark worst still is a new secret database that is going to track everyone entering and leaving the UK. Nothing in the news about it and it is top secret.....home office, secret service, special branch all involved.

The information will include....where you go, what you buy, who you call and much much more.

This country is slowly turning into a big brother state and we wonder why we are seeing an increase in violent protests.

I'm normally behind the law but the current regime leaves little option but to cause chaos.

7:33 pm, April 03, 2009

 
Anonymous Rich said...

I've read most of Orwell, not much war is peace and all that. I much prefer Marley and Me or Into the Wild or Red Dog

12:05 am, April 04, 2009

 
Anonymous Junius said...

Hey Luke! You love local council results, right? Care to let us know why you haven't covered the one about Labour getting beaten into third place behind the Tories and the BNP?

It's all a bit "frustrating" for you, right?

12:58 am, April 04, 2009

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

where are this weeks election results luke

7:43 am, April 04, 2009

 
Anonymous T_i_B said...

"Morally there is no difference between an expenses claim for watching C-Beebies or the more adult channels Richard Timney tuned into"

Wrong. How you ever stopped to consider how your other half would react if she found out you were watching grumble flicks on the sly Luke?

Just goes to show how out of touch with basic morality British politics has become, with the resulty being that we have a political class whose sole interest in grabbing as much as they can for themselves with the common good given no consideration.

9:23 am, April 04, 2009

 
Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

I haven't covered the results because I am in the national hospital for neurology and will be for the next week. At the moment I don't have full use of blogger or, more importantly, my legs.

9:33 am, April 04, 2009

 
Anonymous tim f said...

How dare you suggest use of your legs is more important than updating readers on election results we can find elsewhere? That's the trouble with self-serving Labour politicians...

2:21 pm, April 04, 2009

 
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6:52 pm, April 18, 2009

 

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