Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Lord Foulkes and Stephen Fry: Putting Journalists to the Sword

This is brilliant stuff from Lord Foulkes. Whatever the shame of some of the allegedly grasping thieving bastardos at Westminster.

Have no doubt that Carrie Gracie is paid certain expenses on top of her £92,000 entry level, starter salary. Perhaps we could now have a full declaration of all her expenses? And those of every media colleague, whether paid by the taxpayer or otherwise. No more sneering and jeering until your own salary and expenses regime are revealed? How would that be?

Sadly Stephen Fry's similarly brilliant contribution is not yet available to embed. But it's HERE. "I've never met a more venal and disgusting crowd of people than journalists when it comes to expenses and allowances." Sadly too this item is not on heavy rotation on the BBC schedules. Brilliant though. Clearly Wars and Recessions and Poverty and Public Services matter far more than ALL - every last one - of the publicised claimed allowances.

Douglas "Scraping the Barrel" Hogg spoke out and voted against Iraq Invasion. Good for him.


Jonnie said...

Thousands and thousands of other people claim expenses in this country. The difference is that we are subject to the rules of our companies and HMRC. If we put in an expense claim that is fraudulent we would be sacked. At best, if a claim does not abide by the rules we are taxed on it as a benefit in kind. Mp's are not.

I thought Foulkes was despicable on Today. He just does not get it, he really doesn't, even after 4 or 5 days of this.

To blame the Telegraph is disingenuous at best. The information that was going to be published in July was going to be redacted. Amongst other things it would NOT have shown some of the worst excesses of flipping.

Every single person who comes on and defends or 'explains' the expenses row drives the wedge ever more firmly between Parliament and the public, and raises the level of anger even higher.

Sorry, but Foulkes was not brilliant, he was despicable. I've emailed him along with my phone number. If he wants to get a view from the real world, from someone who is on £22,550 p.a. he can phone me to discuss it.

I bet my phone doesn't ring.

Anonymous said...

To be fair to Hogg, he provided two lists of expenses. One, his actual expendature ,and the other the expenses he wished to claim. The latter being less.

GiacomoL said...

Clearly this issue would have been much less damaging weren't the public already fed up with the current lot of MPs. You correctly say that Wars and Recessions are more important: well, the current lot brought us an illegal War and reacted to a Recession by throwing money at bankers while letting small businesses fail. Expenses are just the last straw, it's seen as the proof that "they are out of touch".

This rebuttal shows one thing: MPs resent private-sector levels of pay (which is what the BBC presenter is on, and that's for another debate), because they are much higher. After all, most of their Eton-educated peers went on to make a killing in the private sector. This is what shouting "long live the free market" every five minutes brings you: a huge rise in economic disparity. That's what lots of civil servants and average employees have felt for the last 30 years, and not just in UK. MPs felt the pinch and reacted by increasingly exploiting the system, whereas regular people couldn't do that. Now they pay a price.

Also, shall we say it? The much-ridiculed PM address on YouTube was well on the money. Had MPs followed Brown's lead and voted for the attendance scheme, now they could simply reply that "it's all in the past, it has been fixed, it can't happen again". Instead now they can only whine and cry like spoiled brats.

Anonymous said...

It was a disgraceful attack. I am shocked that you a man of the web hasn't seen the hate being directed at all politicans and especially the speaker. I hope the SNP announce that they are standing against him in his seat.

I am so cheesed off with politicians and political parties.

There are (with painfully few exceptions) scum, scum and more scum.

Any party posters are freegame for ripping down at the next election. They will be nothing but false advertising

Chris Paul said...

"Man of the Web"? Is that just above or just below "Man of the Cloth" in the hierachy of goodness?

I can see the public reaction and I think in the few dozen extreme cases that is well-founded. However I think being an MP is a very responsible job that has become underpaid as Town Hall officials, vice chancellors, lawyers, civil servants, TV news presenters and others have got market rates.

In the case of MPs there is no market. You would be able to find 650 people willing to do the job for free. Independently wealthy or fairly part time. Like in the good old days. But I have argued before all this came to a head that much of the ACA should be rolled into the salary and this fiasco killed stone dead.

This journalist was (a) very rude (b) very ineffective and (c) asking for it.

George Foulkes is a well-known arsey individual and I believe he would have done this whoever had treated him in this way, up to and including Paxo.

I also note that those of you saying how disgusting this is, gobbling up the media feeding frenzy which smears those making the 500-600 (I'm guessing) reasonably sensible claims, are not commenting on essentially the same point made by Stephen Fry ...

One final thing. "The current lot" who comrade GiacomoL claims brought us an illegal war were aided and abetted by "The change that is Cameron's Berty Woosters" who voted near 100% to invade Iraq.

Whereas 139 Labour members and Douglas Hogg and Ken Clarke and 54 Lib Dems voted against.

Very few of the MPs held up for venom by the Telegraph in their peculiar way are more than a tad out of order. Anonymous is right. While Hogg's submission is embarrassing and points to the old school Tories being alive and well, it is no more or less wrong really than a cheap dress that appeared on a receipt from ASDA submitted by Phil Woolas.

Each of them claimed other items on those bills or schedules. Woolas didn't even need to provide any receipts for his weekly shop. He could simply say "Week 25 - £100 - food" and that would be within the rules. His old mucker John Mann, Saint John Mann, is of course more aham politically correct.