Friday, 2 July 2010

Has Guido (and others) Lost the Plot?

The famous blogger Guido Fawkes blogged a recommendation yesterday that MPs who need to work late in Parliament and therefore don't wish to make a journey home should stay in a Backpacker's Hostel.

Guido lists the benefits here as being the availability of free showers, 24 hour security, breakfast and an Internet cafe all for the modest sum of £12 per night.

Surely this must mark the low point at which the tide must turn on the completely unreasonable demands being made of our elected parliamentary representatives?

Clearly the expenses scandal last year exposed some crazy abuses which needed dealing with. But since then it has lead to some really absurd ideas about how Members of Parliament should operate. The pendulum has swung way too far and to an extent which is now directly against the public interest.

My local MP Michael Gove, now a Secretary of State, is quite rightly been provided with a ministerial car and driver for his work in London at the Ministry of Education. This enables him to work on the move - an essential feature that enables us, the taxpayers, to benefit from Michael having the maximum possible working time available to him to deal with a huge and very important workload and to deal with the 6,500 people employed directly by his ministry.

However, when he visits his constituency here in Surrey Heath the car and driver is not now available and he is expected to make his own arrangements.

As many of the residents of Surrey Heath are aware, Michael is famously one of the least coordinated people on the planet. A few years ago Michael invested in a gleaming new Skoda car and in the last few years has merrily scuffed and crashed it around the constituency, mercifully avoiding inflicting any personal damage on any of his constituents.

When I last saw it some weeks ago it resembled a vehicle that might well have been used in a local demolition derby rather than the mode of transport favoured by our much respected MP. If you recall a Peugeot television advertisement of a few years ago in which the owner of a car attempted to smash and dent it in order to make it look like a new and desirable vehicle then you have an idea of the state that Michael's car is now in (just delete the desirability element).

Given the added demands on Michael's time since his elevation to Rt Hon MP and Sec of State, local people have responded by giving up their own time, and vehicles, to drive Michael between constituency events, in order that he can continue his Ministerial business whilst on the move - it's much for safer for everyone that way.

However, given the still impending impact of the International Global Recession (as our Labour friends would have it) I fear that financial constraints may mean that this workaround may at some point in the future fail.

With this potential problem in mind, perhaps Guido can suggest a suitable solution? Perhaps he knows of a local and cost-effective rickshaw or tuk-tuk company who could help?

N.B. The picture of the Skoda used in this blog post is not Michael Gove's car. Despite being over 20years older than Michael's car it is in much better nick.


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