Socialist Worker

Peer’s expense-fuelled farce and Nick Clegg’s new job

Issue No. 2464

Speaker John Bercow

Speaker John Bercow

Disgraced peer Lord Sewel will be free to claim up to £300 a day in parliamentary allowances while under investigation for getting caught in a Sun sting.

He was paid £120,000 a year, made up of his salary for his part-time work chairing committees in the Lords (£84,525) and his allowance of £36,000 for maintaining a home in London. 

He complained that he is struggling. 

When one of the women working as a prostitute asked if his £200 allowance pays for his lunch, he replied, “It’s not lunch luvvie darling, it’s paying for this”.

Lord Sewel was chair of the House of Lords Standards Committee. It is supposed to ensure no peer brings the House into disrepute and it will decide if he should be expelled.

Now not all politicians share the same interests as the noble Lord.

And George Osborne has yet to comment on a politician being photographed with a woman working as a prostitute and white powder being on the table.

However even the clean living are doing OK.

Commons Speaker John Bercow has been accused of “obscene waste” after billing taxpayers £172 for a chauffeur-driven trip of 1,200 yards.

The round trip to plush Carlton House Terrace, which is a 10-minute walk from the Commons, could have been done in a taxi for £15.

With an impressive lack of self awareness he also spent £367 taking a car to Luton to deliver a speech about how to get over the expenses scandal. 

Poor Nick Clegg has seen his £134,565 deputy prime minister’s salary plummet to a measly £67,000 now he is merely a lowly MP. 

So he hired Leading Authorities, a Washington-based agent, to manage his after-dinner speaking engagements.

Boasting of his “internationalist approach to world affairs”, Clegg says he is available to give speeches “in five European languages”:

“For UK audiences, Clegg shares his experiences about the future of politics and the direction of the UK, specifically relating to the EU. 

“For international groups, he explores how current UK politics affects international relations.”

A snip at £35,000 a speech. 

All Rise graphic

You're better off being rich

A revelatory survey has shown how children from richer families do better than poorer ones, even if they aren’t very clever.  The Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission compared rich children who displayed “low academic ability” at age five with poor ones with high ability. The rich children were 35 percent more likely to be in a well-paid job by the age of 42 than the poor ones.

Criminal prices at Scotland Yard

Fancy a trip to London but don’t know where to stay? Look no further. The original Scotland Yard police headquarters is going to be transformed into a five-star hotel. The building was the Metropolitan Police headquarters from 1829 to 1890. 

But now you will be able to stay in it for a mere £10,000 a night.

Johnson smarting at not getting cannons 

As Troublemaker noted last week, London mayor Boris Johnson has bought a load of water cannons that he isn’t allowed to use.

He now has an interesting task in figuring out what to do with them. 

Meanwhile he still seems to be smarting from being bossed about by home secretary Theresa May.

Writing in the Sun on Sunday newspaper  Johnson said, “It is absolute nonsense to say this would somehow change the notion of ‘policing by consent’.

“The police already have tasers and clubs and any number of lethal guns. Does anyone ‘consent’ to be tasered, for heaven’s sake?”


Raking it in

And what might the cops use their water cannons on if they could use them? Gardeners, obviously.

One man raking his garden was enough to draw a police helicopter, an armed response unit, a dog unit and three patrol cars to a garden in Dorset last week. Cops had been told that Wayne Dodd was brandishing a “weapon”.

Their response is thought to have cost around £5,000.

A police spokesperson said, “It was a misinterpretation.”

Lords vote ermine and they vote often 

When not snorting white powder members of the House of Lords have the odd election.

Democracy rears its ugly head when a hereditary peer departs. 

With Lord Luke, a young of 82, deciding to retire, a vacancy has arisen. Nominations closed last week and the favourite is said to be the Duke of Wellington. 

He previously sought election to Westminster in 1974, standing as a Tory in Islington North, now represented by Jeremy Corbyn. The voters weren’t tempted by an Etonian who goes by the name of the Marquess of Douro.

The other candidates’ statements are enlightening. The Earl of Limerick is into kitesurfing, Lord Rowallan is an Olympic showjumping judge and Lord Swansea speaks Chinese. Then there’s Lord Ampthill, who seems to think that he is the Scarlet Pimpernel.

“Watch out for Monsieur Chauvelin,” he writes. Lord Windlesham’s pledged to show up for votes. Bless.

Top Gear show is cleared to still be racist

Top Gear was cleared of breaching broadcasting rules for using the word “pikey” in a show.

Ex-host Jeremy Clarkson was seen holding a placard with the words Pikey's Peak while Richard Hammond drove a car up a mountain.

It wasn’t racist because it was part of a “running gag”. The BBC admitted the word could be “a derogatory term”. So did regulator Ofcom.

But aparently, “On balance there was sufficient context in the way the word was used to minimise offence.” 

So that’s ok then.

Sexist comic is still sexist

Poor Daniel O’Reilly. The “comedian” is behind the disgusting Dapper Laughs character, who likes to make jokes about rape. But it turns out that O’Reilly is the real victim.

In an interview with the Sunday Times Magazine he complained that people not liking his “jokes” had harmed his career. He whined that his critics are the problem for not educating him about the fact that rape isn’t funny.

He moaned, “Instead of attacking me, why not educate me? Instead I’m told to fuck off.” According to O’Reilly if a woman cries “she’s just playing hard to get”. And “it’s only sexual harassment if she’s more attractive than you”.

Click here to subscribe to our daily morning email newsletter 'Breakfast in red'

Article information

Tue 28 Jul 2015, 17:29 BST
Issue No. 2464
Share this article

Mobile users! Don't forget to add Socialist Worker to your home screen.