Feeding the fat cats
MORE MPs with their snouts in the trough, literally this time. Under the Freedom of Information Act, we now have access to the menus in some of the restaurants and bars in the Houses of Parliament showing that MPs are enjoying meals for less than £2 - and all subsidised by the taxpayer.
At the Portcullis Cafeteria, roasted red pepper and tomato soup was just 60p, while pasta with mushroom garlic cream was £1.90. At the Terrace Cafeteria, lasagne cost £1.90 while a rump steak dinner was £3.80. Swan and lark terrine was a mere 30p while roast peacock with all the trimmings cost less than a pound. Thirsty MPs - are there are plenty of those - could get a Bell's whisky or a Bombay Sapphire gin for £1.55.
In fact, in the year 2007-08, the Commons Refreshment department spent £12.6miilion against an income of £7.2million - a subsidy on the part of the poor bloody taxpayer of £4.5million.
Now I must confess at this point that I have myself eaten in the Commons and the Lords' dining rooms on several occasions in the past. I've even had more than a few pints in the Terrace Bar, where visitors aren't allowed to order drinks (although the cheapshate MP I was with asked me to pass him some money so he could get the beers in). But I never suspected that I was feasting off the taxes of a poor pensioner. And I bet the bastards claimed for the meals and drinks on expenses as well.
I'm not sure that many of us in the private sector still enjoy the luxury of a subsidised canteen, so why should our MPs and Peers who, as we all now know, are on a pretty good whack in the first place? Perhaps the new Speaker might want to turn his attention to this disgusting extravagance as a matter of urgency. Although seeing as he's such an appalling little shit that even his own side refused to back him, I think we might be in for a bit of a wait.
I'VE long argued that when the midle classes rise up against the iron fist of the Nanny State, it won't be ID cards or uncontrolled immigration that channels their rage, but the issue of dustbin collections. Now English Heritage and the Daily Mail seem to have cottoned onto this fact and have launched a 'Not In My Front Yard' campaign, railing against the plethora of plastic bins and boxes now littering our streets.
Now it's not much of a problem at Beelzebub Mansions. We just converted a spare stable into mini recycling centre and my man Whittaker drags the containers half a mile down the drive to the road every Sunday evening. But it's the Little People I feel sorry for - those who live in terraces or flats and have a choice of either wheeling their bins through their two-ups, two-downs or permanantly keeping them in the front garden.
Given that there's usually an old bath, a decrepit bike and several empty plastic cider bottles already littering their leisure space, the arrival of three, man-size, differently coloured plastic wheelie bins seems an impostition too far, even for the Poveratti.
I NEVER knew that school was such a dangerous place - although we did have our moments when playing Split the Kipper with flick knives we'd smuggled back from a school trip to France. (Along with the porno playing cards, the football match flares and the cans of CS gas.)
A survey of 600 teachers has revealed the true extent of the horrors the Health and Safety nutters think that our children face in the playground. Footballs are routinely banned from the premises, as are egg boxes and toilet roll tubes (risk of infection). Sweets are also banned (risk of choking) as is shaving foam (quite bizarrely because of a perceived risk of drowning).
A five-page briefing note must be read before Pritt Stick is deployed in the classroom and goggles must be worn if children are going to use that well-known poisonous explosive, Blu Tack. Is it any wonder then that we're producing generations of compo-claiming wimps?