“MPs keep snouts in the trough”

UPDATE. Nigel Dodds “disappointed by MP’s expenses vote”- DUP statement. So why did none of the NI MPs turn up and vote, then? ( see below the fold)

Inevitably, it was the Mail which struck the classic headline. In a sensational Commons move, Gordon Brown suffered another devastating blow when 33 of his ministers voted against a Commons committee recommendation to submit to external audit and cut their allowances by 3k. Amazingly, Brown himself didn’t even turn up for the vote, while the Tories unlike Labour were whipped ( ordered how to vote). There was much snarling and swearing in the corridors, say lobby reporters..

Among the 33 ministers was the Home Secretary! And tucked away is the No lobby was Angela Smith, Brown’s very own principal private secretary! Remember Angela, once a very friendly Northern Ireland minister? No? Ah well..

Stand by for an avalanche of abuse.

No one will now give MPs credit for voting for a below inflation pay rise or heed their objection to external audit when they already submit their claims for inspection.

Instead, attention will be paid to the next issue in line – that at least a quarter of MPs employ relatives. These include members of DUP dynasties, all fully declared of course for Stormont and Westminster.

And what about those Sinn Fein expenses for members who don’t take their seats?
Nigel Dodds’ statement is hardly s substitute for voting.

Commenting after MPs voted against external auditing of their expenses
and other reforms of expenses paid to MPs, North Belfast MP Nigel Dodds
said:

“The decision of the House of Commons to vote against reform in
the expenses paid to MPs is deeply disappointing and sends out
entirely the wrong message to the public. People will simply be
unable to comprehend the logic behind this decision. At a time
when the reputation of Parliament is said to be at a low ebb, this
decision will evoke a predicable public response. I believe the
existing arrangements, in terms of sustaining public confidence,
still need to be reviewed. The DUP tabled an Early Day Motion on
the issue of MPs salaries recently arguing that any rise in MPs pay
should not exceed 1.9%. We believe that people expect openness
and transparency from their representatives. That is what the DUP
believes in”, said the DUP MP.
SYEu

  • Eddie

    Is Brian Walker taking over Slugger O’Toole?
    Is this a paid position?
    How do you apply?
    What is the criteria and job description?

  • Eddie

    ..and before anybody jumps on me, that “is the criteria” above should have been “are the criteria”

  • Paul

    Brian, Sinn Fein are mandated not to take their seats. I vote Sinn Fein and if that changes i will cease to vote Sinn Fein.

    Further to that the biggest drain on resources is without doubt the DUP and UUP who have made a very good living on the backs of the working class loyalist people. Keep academic selection, keep ’em thick ! That way you can blame the taigs on anything wrong and you have a veritable army of ill-educated sectarianised thugs at your beck and call. Meanwhile they laugh all the way to the bank.

    Unionism = Ireland’s Shame

  • eranu

    personally id prefer if brian posted more. he actually knows what hes talking about and that makes his posts interesting to read. its a welcome step up from endless posts that basically go along the lines of ‘arent themmuns bad, wait til ye here my version of wat they’re up to…’

  • ZoonPol

    How is Unionism shameful Paul?
    Sinn Fein MPs who fail to take their seats in Parliament fail in their duty to serve all of the constituents of the respective constituencies – basically its moral fraud. There is no longer an obligation to take an oath to HM The Queen – indeed as the Stormont Assembly recognises Parliament as the supreme legislature then it can be argued that this is just a gimmick for Sinn Fein now recognises the British version of the rule of law and takes part in it at every level.

  • billie-Joe Remarkable

    “Inevitably, it was the Mail which struck the classic headline”. What classic headline? And why “inevitably” the Mail? Fancy telling us how funny Quentin Letts is too?

  • PeaceandJustice

    Paul “Sinn Fein [PIRA] are mandated not to take their seats. I vote Sinn Fein and if that changes i will cease to vote Sinn Fein.”

    First of all, you should be ashamed to be associated with a gang who is very very proud of the murder, torture and ethnic cleansing they carried out. Secondly, the terrorist leaders you vote for (whose terrorist council is still in operation) are supposed to be representing everyone in their area. But then again, minority rights aren’t something Sinn Fein PIRA concern themselves about if that minority happens to be Protestant Unionist.

    Finally, Brian’s post talks about “at least a quarter of MPs employ relatives. These include members of DUP dynasties, all fully declared of course for Stormont and Westminster.” Why has the media allowed the Sinn Fein PIRA group to get away with only listing some vague details about which family relatives they employ? I know their backgrounds in the SF PIRA death squads makes them a little coy about giving out much information. But people have a right to know. Can someone point me to a full and detailed list of Sinn Fein PIRA members who employ members of their families? Who owns their offices? How much rent do they pay?

  • Rory

    I have no idea what the criteria might be for being invited to post a thread on Slugger. I would think that Mick’s whim is as good as any and I suspect it might help if one can write with grammatical precision at first attempt.

    I certainly welcome Brian Walker’s contributions, he’s sharp and well informed and I like his style.

    As to the meat of this thread – well what can one say that the Man on the Clapham Omnibus has not already repeated a thousand times? It’s no more than we have come to expect of them. The harm they do to the democratic process insofar as we feel helpless to do anything about it is incalculable.

    In my constituency, given a choice between a New Labour careerist apparatchnik, a Tory twat and a LibDem (as if), I simply don’t bother anymore.

  • interested

    Brian,
    Would you have been as keen on the publication of BBC employees salaries and expenses???

  • Paul

    Paul “Sinn Fein [PIRA] are mandated not to take their seats. I vote Sinn Fein and if that changes i will cease to vote Sinn Fein.”

    First of all, you should be ashamed to be associated with a gang who is very very proud of the murder, torture and ethnic cleansing they carried out. Secondly, the terrorist leaders you vote for (whose terrorist council is still in operation) are supposed to be representing everyone in their area. But then again, minority rights aren’t something Sinn Fein PIRA concern themselves about if that minority happens to be Protestant Unionist.

    Firstly, you deliberately misquoted me.

    Secondly, you are very ill-informed, wheelchairs on the Shankill? Ask those on the Shankill who they turn to to get things done.

    Thirdly, Tell us about the Glenanne Gang Willie.

    Unionism = Ireland’s Shame

  • Brian Walker

    Interested, I believe it’s only a matter of time before the salary bands of all BBC staff employees are published,( though not individual salaries) and the full range of freelance contracts. The reasons for a degree of reticence are a limited right to privacy and some commercial confidentiality.

  • joeCanuck

    Here in Ontario for the past 10 years or so, the names of all public and semi-public employees earning over $100,000 are published along with their pre-tax earnings.

  • Eddie

    I wasn’t criticising Brian Walker. I was merely asking how one gets to be a thread-starter on Slugger O’Toole. What are the criteria? Is it paid? Is it advertised anywhere – like in the News Letter, Irish News, DUP or Sinn Fein mags? Would like an answer.

  • Roll on Walker Sluggers Texas ranger! Streets ahead and extremely interesting topics. Even though i don’t comment on all your posts, I always read them as I find them extremely interesting.

    He’s got my vote for a pay rise.

  • PeaceandJustice

    To Paul – SF PIRA death squad cheerleaders like yourself should realise that there are a lot more people than the gentleman you mention, who oppose your glorification of terrorism – and your attempt to re-write history.

    Sinn Fein PIRA = Ireland’s Shame