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October 23, 2008


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Graham Marlowe

First off, Paul I didn't say ALL MPs were lazy, but there are many who enjoy the good life rather too much - you can see by looking at the website They Work For You, the voting attendence records and how they do or do not respond to their consnstituents letters etc. I have no doubt that you are personally hard-working and have real experience of real l life. But there are some examples of people who really are not representitive of the ordinary person - the recently promotyed Barbara follett for example (the lady who claimed £90 per week to have the windows of her London FLAT each week) - this lady is the wife of a millionaire writer - I am sure she could have found a cheaper window cleaner, or not needed to claim all the money from the public purse.

As regards work, yes of course there are people who should be working, but to persecute everyone with mental or physical health problems is going over the top - especially as unemployment is and will continuie to increase. My own wife had serious problems, and her jobn didn't help her in that respect and probably added to pushing her over the edge: but what would Freud and Purnell care about that? Neither have ever had to fight for anything - everything on a silver platter. Shaw has a remarkably similar voting record I notice to his predecessor Ivan Lewis - never rock the boat if you want to get on.

Several healthj and disability charities have spoken against the Freud/Purnell "reforms" so it doesn't need me to rehearse the arguments: As for Purnell he looks, sounds and behaves like a 13 year old public schoolboy who has just seen his first prole. Onme minister was quoted recently as saying "Purnell?. well he's hardly Labour, is he?". I think that person whomever he/she was, got it just about right. To take the advice of a non-qualified multi-millionaire "investment banker" (I do hope he has lost lots of money lately!) on such serious matters, shows just how far W"New Labour" has fallen into the gutter.

Paul Flynn

Yes Graham, I recognise the temptation to regard MPs as being out touch. My working life continued until my mid fifties as a shift worker in a steelworks. I remain, very much, in touch with my constituents and their problems.

I smile at the long holiday breaks. MPs could not work at all. Some have done in the past. The great majority, out of choice and interest, work ludicrously long hours and holidays are normally a couple of week a year. There have no days in the past year when I have not been available to deal with complaints from constituents. The daily blog is an example of keeping in touch.

The worst advice to anyone with disabilities is to urge them into a life without work.

Graham Marlowe

I think the problem is, Paul, because modern ministers are so out of touch with real life, they haven't noticed:

1) A recession is starting and unemployment is rising. it will get harder for the able bodied to get jobs. this will make it easier to palm off low waged or unpleasant work on Purnell/Freud's victims


2) Not all work carries with it an index linked pension, chauffeur driven cars, long holiday breaks etc.

It doesn't look good to take "welfare" and health advice from a multi-millionaire who is neithger a doctor, nor who has any practical experience of poverty. Brown might as well get Keith Floyd to advise a symposium on teetotalism.

Paul Flynn

Disagree with yu Graham on the value of work.

It is the best medicine, however severe the disability. Stephen Hawking?
I have some experience of this having 'retired' from a job I had done for 25 because I lost the dexterity to do it. I could have been on the sick ever since, had I chosen to do so. That was 30 years ago.
Ten minutes ago, I spoke to an MP who is attending the committee I am attending in Lisbon. He is blind. There have been great strides in the advances made in he past 50 years to allow people with disbilities to enjoy the fulfillment of working lives.

Graham Marlowe

Paul, I'd like to welcome a new, recently promoted automaton. Jonatrhan Shaw M.P. who is one of Purnell's little gang. He was interviewed on The World This Weekend about the new Employment Support enefit yesterday, and trotted out all the old Freud/Purnell mantras

"Work is good for you" . No matter how ill or disabled you are. Of course, being a multimillionaire investment banker freud knows all about that sort of thing. Purnell probably thinks the sick and disabled smell, since he has never really lived in the real world having scooted off to a private education in France.

It seems Mr Shaw is VWERY very loyal. Just take a look at his voting record:


VERY strongly in favour of the Iraq war
VERY strongly against a transparent Parliament
and against an enquiry into the Iraq war.

This boy will go far - till 2010!

Paul Flynn

He did start his remarks, Graham, but urging "Do what I say, not what I did."

Graham Marlowe

"David Blunkett promised ruefully that he will not be writing another chapter of his autobiography"

What a pity Paul: In these times of recession and worry, the nation could do with a good laugh!

Mr Blunkett was the "Mr Pooter" of the 21st century...

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