Socialist Worker

Of course MPs are worth an extra £7,000 for cheap drink

Issue No. 2457

People need decent wages. There are good reasons to bump up pay. Even on the bosses’ terms, valued staff need to be retained, and new employees recruited. 

Outstanding skills should be rewarded. But strangely none of that applies to MPs. So a £7,000 pay rise then seems a little vulgar.  

Adam Afriyie, Tory MP for Windsor, staunchly defended the proposed pay rise, claiming that without it parliament would be “stuffed full of career politicians” or those with “wealthy spouses, trust funds, inherited homes and unearned income”. Or presumably people who make fortunes selling houses.

The Conservative MP has put his house on the market and is in line to make £9.5 million profit. He bought the six-storey, grade II Listed Georgian house in November 2005 for £7.25 million. The home is now for sale for £16.75 million.

Afriyie, who is estimated to be “worth” upwards of £50 million, courted controversy when he said in February that “you can’t expect an MP to scrabble around on a salary of £67,000”. 

MPs pay is set to  be £86,000 by the time of the next election, despite a 1 percent cap on pay rises for public sector workers in place until 2016.

Meanwhile prior to the rise, MPs splashed out £11,000 in just one week in parliament’s bars. Some £4,300 was spent at the drinking holes on 11 May alone as jubilant Tories flocked back to Westminster.

MPs spent £1,538.05 on Sauvignon Blanc, £1,229.70 on Grolsch, £1,036.45 on ale and £2.70 on Campari. The spending spree came in the first week after the election, before the Commons returned to work. A £7 million subsidy helps provide cheap booze to the MPs in the House of Commons bars.


A fair cop in Scotland

Who knows how much crime is in Scotland? The Scottish National Party government has dropped issuing crime statistics as the figures are unreliable. A Scottish government spokesperson said, “We are required to review how our resource can be most effectively used to meet the needs of our users. The current consultation forms part of that process.” 


Ukipper slams Ukip as ‘racist bastards’ 

Natasha Bolter was on her own admission, naive to get involved with Ukip. She was promoted by the party for a while. 

She said, “Looking back, I can see they saw me as someone they could show off. I was a mixed-race woman.”

At a meeting in front of 100 activists virtually every question to her was about her colour.

She said, “I should have walked away there and then. I cried for two hours all the way home in his car because of those racist bastards.”


Ukip candidate falsified nomination

Former Ukip candidate Matthew Smith’s political career is happily over after he was ordered to do 200 hours community service and pay £3,227 for submitting a false nomination paper for Norfolk County Council elections.


Ukip sale

It’s the biggest sale of the year over at Ukip’s online shop. Who could resist the silk ties with party branding—knocked down from £20 to £12. Why not pick up a copy of 101 Ways to Win an Election, reduced from £12 to just a fiver.


Stranded by Tube cuts 

Disability campaigners condemned an “alarming” rise in the number of times lifts on London Underground have been out of action. The lifts were closed for 734 hours last year—up from 476 hours in 2013.


The Ed Stone

Ten meetings. That is the number of meetings where the Ed Stone survived and was still considered a good idea. The policy cenotaph former Labour Party leader Ed Miliband unveiled in the last week of the election campaign was was a partcular low point. Ten meetings.


Medal wearer gets a new medal

His Royal Highness Prince Henry Charles Albert David of Wales—Prince Harry—is now officially Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order, and unofficially, Sir Harry.

Harry was knighted by his grandmother for his “services to the sovereign”. The Royal Victorian Order, the dyanstic order of knighthood for services to the crown, was made up by queen Victoria in 1896.

Elsewhere some royal children had their picture taken. Like the rest of the media Troublemaker is protecting their privacy by not using the images.


Figure it out

£200,000

the average price of a house in Britain 

136,000

The shortfall of new homes per year

100,000

The gap in housing supply in London a year


The Things They Say...

‘Behave yourself, woman’

Scottish National Party’s Alex Salmond to Tory Anna Soubry in parliament last week


‘Good-natured exchange’

The SNP claims this wasn’t sexist


‘Your Royal Highness’s most humble and obedient servant’

Labour’s Andy Burnham sucks up to prince Charles


‘A modest down payment’

The Daily Mail on George Osborne’s announcement of a further £3 billion in cuts


‘Held in disturbingly low regard’

The Daily Mail bemoans the fact that people don’t rate the political class


‘There is no group more militant or vituperative than the miniscule but totalitarian ‘trans’ lobby.’

Odious columnist Richard Littlejohn in the Daily Mail


‘Used to be famous’

Former Labour leader Ed Miliband discovers self awareness


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Article information

The Troublemaker
Tue 9 Jun 2015, 17:04 BST
Issue No. 2457
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