Saturday, 6 February 2010

Milburn - it's the final countdown.

Three months. That's how long we have to put up with Alan Milburn as our MP. In fact, were he not standing down in disgrace, I think I would still be typing exactly the same thing.

The revelation that he's been asked to repay £11,000 in over-claimed expenses on his second home mortgage will come as no surprise to his long-suffering constituents who have had to put up with an MP who doesn't live here, is rarely seen here unless there's a photo opportunity standing under a pigeon dung encrusted railway bridge, who rarely votes or speaks in Parliament and who has five other jobs.

That's the last time I shall write the odious words "Alan Milburn" on my blog. It is though, one more time than you'll find the words written on anything written or published by the local Labour Party, who have been exquisitely silent about their former golden boy. Where is the condemnation fom the local party leadership or Parliamentary candidate? Have they no sense of shame or embarassment?

Good riddance. Days of Hope - give me strength!


james said...

If he was the only MP in the country up to this kind of thing, you'd be justified in your comments, Mike.

This isn't a defence of Milburn, just that there's more important things going on than MPs expenses.

It is curious that all of this information on MPs expenses was leaked by Tory supporters to the Torygraph - at a time when we are in the worst economic crisis in decades.

Parliamentary action to restructure the national economy is needed - not least by those who are victims of a crisis caused by the unelected and unaccountable people who ran the economy into the ground.

I hope that the Liberal Democrats will take care not to feed the mood of anti-politics during this campaign.

Given the prospect of a Tory government committed to ensuring that ordinary people pay for the bankers' crisis, we need participation in democratic processes to increase, not decrease as is the current trend.

Anonymous said...

Alan Macnab writes.....

James. I must disagree with you about "there's more important things going on than MPs expenses." It is a very grave situation which goes to the heart of democracy in this country. It is abhorrent and wholly and utterly wrong to me that we have MPs milking the system when there are people who are struggling to make ends meet. Do you think that's fair because I don't.

What sort of example are they setting to the rest of the country and young people in particular? The messsage they are sending out is it's OK to fiddle and go on the make and on the take. It is sheer and utter greed and whoever exposed it to the Daily Telegraph is to be commended because we would have never have known about it.

Do you want to live in a country where wrong doing is covered up and allowed to continue and the dogs turned on those who are exposing what is going on? I don't and that is what we in this country have drifted into. That is why the decent, law abiding people of this country, and I count myself as one of them, are standing for elective office.

Finally James please read Peter Barron's editorial in yesterday's Northern Echo which is an excellent summary of the situation and how we the decent, honest, law abiding people of this country feel about this scandal.

Anonymous said...

Yes Alan... all 63 have been very bad!

Adrian Sanders 159,434
Alan Beith 153,657
Alan Reid 148,210
Alistair Carmichael 157,650
Andrew George 170,135
Andrew Stunell 148,194
Annette Brooke 141,504
Bob Russell 148,968
Charles Kennedy 167,716
Chris Huhne 149,139
Colin Breed 145,201
Dan Rogerson 163,681
Danny Alexander 187,625
David Heath 155,001
David Howarth 121,099
David Laws 165,106
Don Foster 152,860
Edward Davey 144,188
Evan Harris 151,834
Greg Mulholland 165,835
Jenny Willott 141,963
Jeremy Browne 174,102
Jo Swinson 145,377
John Barrett 168,195
John Hemming 151,791
John Leech 155,321
John Pugh 146,920
John Thurso 178,689
Julia Goldsworthy 161,632
Lembit Öpik 167,128
Lorely Burt 163,402
Lynne Featherstone 138,476
Malcolm Bruce 178,231
Mark Hunter 159,434
Mark Oaten 160,668
Mark Williams 166,466
Martin Horwood 159,261
Matthew Taylor 176,673
Menzies Campbell 160,971
Michael Moore 171,539
Mike Hancock 150,494
Nick Clegg 148,064
Nick Harvey 169,334
Norman Baker 165,983
Norman Lamb 161,735
Paul Burstow 135,047
Paul Holmes 162,853
Paul Keetch 160,377
Paul Rowen 172,738
Phil Willis 183,075
Richard Younger-Ross 155,611
Robert Smith 150,216
Roger Williams 148,910
Sandra Gidley 181,333
Sarah Teather 139,201
Simon Hughes 150,589
Stephen Williams 158,611
Steve Webb 162,098
Susan Kramer 140,728
Tim Farron 178,924
Tom Brake 141,537
Vince Cable 141,355
Willie Rennie 171,929

Anonymous said...

Alan Macnab writes....

Well Anonymous you have been busy. Why don't you publish the Labour and Tory claimants so we can see the full picture?

james said...

Alan, I wasn't denying that the expenses scandal is obscene - I've always believed in the old slogan of a workers' MP on a workers' wage - my point was that it's the timing of this revelation that worries me.

After the next election there will be the biggest intake of new MPs since 1945 - my worry is that we won't get the kind of parliament we had after the war, one that in spite of the aftermath of war and with a deficit several times GDP, committed to reforms which benefitted ordinary people.

As it stands, the Lib-Dems are failing to make clear (as they did under Paddy Ashdown) that they will stop a Tory government committed to making us pay for the bankers' crisis. Does this not worry you?

Anonymous said...

What's that saying Alan, let he who 'something or other' cast the first stone! Your lot are just as bad.

Anonymous said...

650 MP's Claimed £95,576,589 in 08/09 (on top of their wage)

Alan Williams (Lab) Swansea West claimed the least = £22,146

Lib-Dem all 63 of them claimed a total of £9,954,018 Average of £158,000.286

Tories all 196 of them claimed a total of £30,862,081 Average of £157,459.607

Lab all 351 of them claimed a total of £53,050,048 Average of £151,139.738

That's strange... the lib dems even managed to claim more than the tories!

Mike Barker said...

That's because most Lib Dem MPs represent far-flung constituencies and therefore incur higher travelling expenses. More of them need second homes near Westminster too because, with a few honourable exceptions, we tend not to represent many seats in London and the South East.

A dispassionate observer of this whole sorry event could not fail to conclude that, overall, while not entirely blameless in terms of making frivolous claims, Lib Dem MPs have been less likely to abuse the system than Tory or Labour MPs.

breyhen said...

Back to the initial point of this item. I have been to three meetings in the past 12 months when Alan Milburn MP was to be a guest speaker. Twice he failed to turn up and the one time he did he spoke for under 5 minutes and hurried away to another meeting. Both you, Mike, and Jenny live in Darlington and I would hope whoever is elected in May will remain true to their roots and give us an MP who understand our needs and supports us by their presence. Naturally I hope it will be you Mike. There are many people disillusioned by the Tory's bringing in an import and will look to vote for someone else. Jenny cannot possibly be their alternative so you look to be claiming a number of ex-Tory voters - like myself. The press seem very keen to push for Jenny so please, Mike, make for photo opportunies, as she does, to keep you name and face in the public eye. Best of Luck