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April 29, 2012


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Let's get back to the really important question here... does Mr Flynn have a free iPad up for grabs or not?

Patrick number 1

Let's summarise your view.

A politician earns £65k.

If we dont also contribute to the cost of their food and drink whilst at Parliament, only people with significant personal wealth would be able to afford to be a politician.


"Really? It's an altruistic gesture to help with democracy? "

No, it's not altruistic. We want something for it, we want the best people if possible to fill these roles, what we don't want is a situation where the best people can't afford to do the job, leaving it realistically open only to those with massive personal wealth.
We have enough problems due to people with excessive wealth seemingly able to devote enormous amounts of time to networking and gladhanding that the majority of the rest of the populace do not have the luxury of. Leading to too many people who do not obviously have any particular talents or abilities for anything real or practical getting into positions of power without attempting to either raise the hurdles or to shut and bar the door to any one of the 50 million others who may well be the ones we need.

There is nothing altruistic about that, it is practical and sensible.

There may be perfectly good arguments to make to improve the conditions for people who performed in the role you did, other Patrick, or there might not be.
Objecting to anyone having better conditions does seem like energy wasted on begrudgery.
Apart from that, it is just possible that for someone who is representing 40 to 60 thousand people to have easy access to resources and facilities that will allow them to fulfill their obligations might well be a good idea.
If people have to hang about in case a vote is called and therefore cannot exercise much choice about where to eat, a subsidised food service might not be such a terribly clear example of taking advantage after all.

Patrick number 1

It's not "bitterness or begrudgery". It's simply making the reasonable request that those at the top of public service do not vote themselves benefits that they deny to others. Neither is my post about corruption. Corruption is illegal. There is nothing illegal about the benefits MPs have enjoyed.

I was a civil servant in central London for 15 years. There was no subsidised food and drink at my place of employ. I wasn't able to recover my commuting costs from my employer. And yet, just down the road, they enjoyed both. Why? What's the rationale for the diffence in treatment? To attract people who are not rich into politics? Really? It's an altruistic gesture to help with democracy? Give me a break.

Incidentally, I have an iPad. One I bought myself. I'm typing this on it.


Like to point out that the comment above by patrick is not myself (Patrick) that has commented regularly for several years.

It would be impossible to have a corrupt free parliament as it would a corrupt free police, press, church etc.

We are collectively, a money obsessed scum species. We are presently destroying the infrastructure that allowed us to breathe in the first place.

But let's carry on overpopulating the globe, flying round the world to visit friends, removing the lungs of the world through deforestation, polluting the sea's with Chinese made plastic etc.................

Arguing, or even caring about, who earns what, or has what is totally insignificant compared to our utter indifference to our Grandchildren's future!


Oh go on Paul, get one and give your spare to Patrick. Then there'll be one grumpily happy constituent at least (I don't believe that would make him happy btw).

There are wealthy people in parliament Patrick, but they are there because their electorates chose them to represent them.
Some of the most prominent ones are ridiculously wealthy and certainly don't need anything for the role they are playing, but any ordinary person would need the facilities and expenses and salaries available to do their jobs.

The logical conclusion to the bitterness and begrudgery represented by the constant stream of abuse towards politicians for anything they get, will lead, inevitably back to the situation we had in the 19th century, when ONLY the rich could be MPs.

We're already on dangerous ground after the expenses scandal, with the extremely wealthy MPs (often people who abused the expenses system) being able to take the "moral high ground" of declaring that they will not claim expenses etc.

It has to stop at some point or we will never get away from the creeping americanisation and corruption of our politics.

Paul Flynn

Oh the i-pad. I will not be getting one. I already have one. Very useful too because they can allow us to make more use of our time on line where laptops are not allowed.

Paul Flynn

You are out of date. The meal subsidies have been reduced and food and drinks are similar to prices elsewhere in London. I think I have used two taxis in the past year. My home in London was bought and paid for years ago.

You may note that I am in the bottom 10% of claimers- probably the lowest in Gwent.


Will you be availing yourself of a free iPad? You know, the one paid for by the general public, that can be used in the subsidised House of Commons bar, after a delicious meal of smoked salmon or fillet steak in the subsidised House of Commons restaurant? Then perhaps a taxi, paid for by the public, back to a second home in London, furnished and maintained by the public.

That is the public perception of what is going on. Parliament did everything it could do to stop the truth coming out, even trying to use the legal system to try to stop the press telling us the truth. It was, and continues to be, absolutely scandalous.

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