I have never had much respect for MPs – and the recent expenses scandal duly illustrated one of the main reasons: many of them have been well and truly milking the system.
So there’s nothing more galling than Shadow Leader of the House of Commons Alan Duncan bleating on about how MPs are ‘treated like s***’ and ‘forced to live on rations’. One can only assume the ration he refers to is the £64,766 salary – a hefty amount per annum by most people’s standards – he knew he would receive if he was elected to sit as a Tory MP for Rutland and Melton. Sadly, he was.
And the poor lamb is positively distraught at to being described in some quarters of the national press as a ‘multi-millionaire’. Ah, I suppose with an alleged fortune of about £2 million, he may consider he has a point there! How on earth does ‘old moneybags’ manage to survive?
Still, it’s great to learn that even if he does stand for re-election (come on Gordon, for heavens sake give us a date) his seat is going to be well and truly contested – thanks to the efforts of a couple of sleaze-busters, journalist and former MP Martin Bell plus former Beirut hostage and Church of England envoy Terry Waite.
In the name of ‘honest politics’, the dynamic duo have been busy behind the scenes recruiting up to 25 independent candidates to stand for election against MPs caught up in the expenses scandal, of which the silver-tongued Mr Duncan was one. Hopefully these candidates will succeed in restoring public faith by replacing those who have pulled the wool over the eyes of the electorate. A new era? Possibly.
Anyway, given the worst scenario (some would say the best outcome) and Mr Duncan doesn’t make it back to the House he could always take a political leaf out of the book of former Liberal Party leader Lord David Steel who, at the age of 71, has embarked on a new career and is giving talks on a cruise ship alongside minor celebrities such as Bullseye host Jim Bowen and TV gardener Charlie Dimmock!
On second thoughts, I don’t reckon the hard done-by Mr Duncan would want to risk upsetting his shipmates – for example, they could mutiny and make him walk the plank. And ‘old moneybags’ would certainly make a big splash! Lifebelt? I don’t think so…