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On our programme today...

Post categories:

Louisa Compton | 15:30 UK time, Friday, 17 April 2009

Derek Conway, Caroline Spelman, Jacqui Smith, Tony McNulty: just some of the politicians who've been embroiled in scandal about their expenses or second home allowance.

Victoria's back next week and on Monday we'll be broadcasting the programme from an MPs second home. Labour MP John Mann's agreed to open up his doors to us.

ob_38083349_mann_john_407.jpgHis main home is in his constituency in Bassetlaw, but he spends 3 nights a week in his second home - a flat he rents in Waterloo. Victoria will get to rummage through his expenses and find out just how much of your money funds MPs second homes.

Of course, this week's been dominated by the row over smear emails sent from Downing Street. Judging by your calls, emails and texts the story's just confirmed many of your perceptions about politicians, sleaze and corruption. So just what can politicians do to get us to trust them?

musicreview_200409.jpg

And, because it's Monday, John Mann will be taking part in our music review. DJ Semtex and Peter Robinson from popjustice will cuddle up next to him on his sofa to review the following:

Fightstar album Be Human

Eminem's single We Made You

Tinchy Stryder ft. N-Dubz single Number 1

Kleerup ft Titiyo single Longing for Lullabies.

UPDATE 20 April

Here's John on the sofa with Victoria

johnmannsofa_460x200.jpg

And explaining one of his expenses claims

johnmannexpenses_460x200.jpg

Inside John's bathroom and bedroom

johnmannbathbed_460x200.jpg

The fridge at John's second home and the flowers he was sent by someone who slept in his room while he wasn't there

fridgeflowers_460x200.jpg

(Left to right) Shane Greer, John Pienaar, Sue Cochrane, John Mann, Victoria Derbyshire discuss MPs expenses and trust in them

mpsandpienaar_460x250.jpg

Comments

  • 1. At 4:47pm on 17 Apr 2009, lifeprettypink11 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 2. At 06:35am on 18 Apr 2009, carrie wrote:

    John Mann rents a flat. Why couldn't Labour put up one of their proper second home owners who rips off the country by claiming a mortgage, and a gardener, a cleaner and all the other ridiculous stuff that some of these MPs claim? More to the point, why couldn't the labour luvvies on Radio Five find someone who has that sort of contentious expenses background and get them to squirm a bit?

    While I am on, why on earth does Victoria have a music review on her programme? Aren't there enough music stations and experienced music presenters without having to use her? She is over 40, getting to the end of her Radio Five target audience age and also not terribly good at sounding as if she knows what she is talking about with this music section.

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  • 3. At 2:13pm on 18 Apr 2009, victoria5live wrote:

    Hi Carrie

    Thanks for your constructive comments on Monday's programme 48 hours before we begin broadcasting it. As a result of your serial postings over the years I think even casual users of the BBC's blogs will have gathered how much you dislike me and any programme I happen to be presenting. I am grateful that you still listen to so much of the output in order that you can continue to point out the error of my ways. I think you might be losing your touch though - the above post only criticises my age and my lack of expertise on music - surely you can add a bit more to the list. Come on Carrie!

    Rgs

    Victoria

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  • 4. At 10:14pm on 18 Apr 2009, archicrooks wrote:

    OUCH !!

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  • 5. At 11:13pm on 18 Apr 2009, WilliamsChild wrote:

    Sorry Victoria, I don't listen to your programme anymore.
    The very last straw was PMQ's which were Simon Mayo's province. So now I catch PMQ's on TV.
    In fact I do not listen to Radio 5 nearly as much as I used to.

    Simon Mayo and Peter Allen are the only presenters I do listen to.

    Apart from the sport coverage.

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  • 6. At 11:36pm on 18 Apr 2009, carrie wrote:

    Victoria. Isn't the idea of previewing what will be the next programme content on your blog so you can get some audience views? Well I'm telling you my views: Either the guy was put up by the Party or he is a ringer for Gordon. You obviously have chosen someone who hasn't a contentious issue in his secret life otherwise you wouldn't see him for dust. And as for the new music section, Victoria, you must know how lame it all sounds.

    I notice PMQs are mentioned above, another one of the few good bits left on the Station which you have dumbed down by inviting specialist guests to ask for feedback, when as this is the only station to cover the PMQs it would be nice for us listeners with a brain to actually have some serious analysis. there have been many many complaints about the way your programme has presented this section and they appear on the now defunct messageboards, pulled by your employers but paid for by me as a licence payer and someone with an opinion.

    I've a lot more where this came from.

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  • 7. At 00:01am on 19 Apr 2009, jali_gb wrote:

    Victoria Derbyshire, Peter Allen and Aasmah Mir are the presenters I enjoy listening to on 5live. I hope Aasmah gets the Drive show, full-time, in place of Anita Anand.

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  • 8. At 03:33am on 19 Apr 2009, armra1972 wrote:

    I am currently serving overseas and only have the luxury of Radio 5 when BFBS is carrying it, regardless of some of the above comments I look forward to getting home and back to the great radio I enjoy, and yes this does include Victoria. Keep up the good work (and the music reviews).

    On another quick note on dumbing down, that is exactly what happens when you start broadcasting PMQs, they should be treated for aexactly what they are, the warm up slot for Mayo.

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  • 9. At 08:55am on 19 Apr 2009, Nick Vinehill wrote:


    Amazing! This site announces its going to broadcast from an MP's second home in the light of the recent MP's expense rows and the whole issue seems to have been transformed already into a rant and rave session against 5 Live programmes and presenters?

    I'm a regular listener mainly because I'm a full time news and sports freak truck driver so 5 Live suits my needs in that respect.

    However to personally attack a 5 Live presenter on sites like this reflects either pure cowardice, a person's professional or career jealousy or an intellectual reluctance to address the real political issues that are being discussed on air!

    This factor however isn't helped by the fact that there's little difference between the political parties so topical issues that are selected by your editors to cover can absorb a very personal dimension where personalities within the political and economic spectrum are the issue rather than the real political and economic issues! The more gullible and impressionable listener could therefore place the role of a presenter in the same light as politicians.

    I realise that you are merely carrying out your instructions Victoria but from an editorial standpoint I don't think running an outside broadcast from an MP's second home is a very good idea simply because this whole expense furore, albeit of secondary importance, obscures far more important shortcomings within our parliamentary system.

    For example if the public are being galvanised over what MP's do to warrant these expenses and allowances then why is there no debate as to why there's been no vote or debate whatsoever in the elected House of Commons as to the wreckless and astronomical amount of public money being used to bail out not just banks but the entire principle behind the free market ideology!

    The reality is that any discussion about the immorality of MP's pay and allowances are pointless unless its realised that MP's will always be financially well rewarded (in the same way as bank executives are) as its their incentive for not challenging this parliamentary consensus that upholds this free market capitalist agenda!

    Finally from a slightly different perspective to clarify this point, the Tory opposition and some within New Labour claim that their 'beacon freedom fighter' Damien Green was a downtrodden victim of an oppressive police state simply because his office was raided by the police. The reality is (and without defending New Labour) the Tories only methods of scoring political points these days is to play on the hysteria created by such issues like immigration and crime! It had nothing to do with freedom or the national interest!

    The real threat to our national interests and freedoms is that capitalism is in crisis but all our mainstream parties are capitalist regardless of how well an MP might clean and hoover his second home in preparation for your 5 Live broadcast!








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  • 10. At 09:43am on 19 Apr 2009, carrie wrote:

    Nick Vinehill. This is not a rant. PMQs happen to be the most important access listeners have to hearing the Government take responsibility for their work. There may be several ridiculous party political exchanges amongst them but nevertheless, it is our chance to hear the explantions. So the importance of this is that you want independent analysis, not a group of sixth formers listening for the first time, or some people in a factory, or the presenter asking the listeners to ring in with want they want to hear asked. There is the centre of the matter. Firstly, dumbing down by making it a phone in section. Secondly asking what a non professional thought of what was said. Thirdly, losing the proper analysis afterwards because it is disjointed by the Mayo handover. The section on Wednesday would therefore be better if the handover was at 12 not 1pm.

    As for rants about presenters, I am afraid there are strong feelings amongst historically loyal Radio Five listeners who hear the text-us, phone-us,twitter-us,email-us basis of ALL programmes has dumbed down a rolling news station to the point where I actually do not think they can even present a breaking news story properly any more. This is the fault of successive Controllers. Victoria's programme is always quoted because it is an outstanding example of how children and sport (notably football) dominate the programme. She could not even name an Australian test cricketer the other day because it is not on her radar. Phil Williams has to be taken to Twickenham so he can "get" rugby union at the highest level. Then oh goody, he can take Rachel to Twickenham so she can "get" football at the international level.

    Student radio.

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  • 11. At 10:16am on 19 Apr 2009, carrie wrote:

    Correction: Phil took Rachel to Wembley.

    And by the way, I am not jealous of Victoria or have "an intellectual reluctance to address the real political issues that are being discussed on air!" because that is exactly what I am asking for. I am certainly not a coward, as you can see I will stand my ground to give my opinion.

    I see Nick put his political views in his piece, whereas I have never done that.

    Surely listeners and viewers are allowed an opinion, a point of view?

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  • 12. At 1:02pm on 19 Apr 2009, WilliamsChild wrote:

    Carrie is 100% correct.

    That PMQ spot is now an insult to any person of even some intelligence.
    I am furious about it.

    I think Victoria needs a long holiday and she can take Richard Bacon with her.

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  • 13. At 1:46pm on 19 Apr 2009, DaPonte wrote:

    Carrie is absolutely correct. I notice, Victoria, that you haven't responded to the comment about pop music. When did you become a music critic? Why aren't you on one of the music stations? Five Live used to be a good alternative to Radio Four: a speech-based station that employed presenters who had a good grasp of current events and were able to conduct interviews with professionals (politicians and BBC correspondents, for instance) and with people who rang in an informed, intelligent manner. Now it's all text us now, phone us now. This is not an ad hominem attack on you especially, Victoria, but on the whole ethos of Radio Five as evidenced in your programme day in and day out.

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  • 14. At 10:48am on 20 Apr 2009, Curmy wrote:

    NickVinehill the only reason listeners comment on presenters and programmes here, is that the last place where we were allowed to discuss all aspects of Radio 5 or any radio programmes for that matter ,(The POV radio board )was closed down on April 3rd of this year..

    2 years and a half years previous to that the radio 5 station board was closed down.

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  • 15. At 10:58am on 20 Apr 2009, zelda wrote:

    This mornings programme could have been done in the studio. Describing a flat and the contents of the wardrobes and fridge on the radio is hardly riveting. It's like ventriloquism on the radio, fairly pointless.

    Hey Ho, we have Eminem to look froward to on the music review section.

    I too mourn the loss of the POV radio messageboards, this appears to be the only medium we have left to voice our opinions on the content of 5 Live programmes.

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  • 16. At 11:15am on 20 Apr 2009, carrie wrote:

    All highly predictable Labour party Political broadcast.

    Thank goodness the champagne wasn't John Mann's.

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  • 17. At 11:38am on 20 Apr 2009, Binkie wrote:

    When the radio board (the only place where licence payers and listeners could comment on 5live programmes and presenters ) on the POV site was closed down recently and very hastily by Nick Reynolds, the only answer we received about where we could post on a alternative site and express and make known our opinions , was that we could use the various 5live blogs.If some people can't handle the valid criticism directed at 5live then it.really is a poor state of affairs.

    It is not our fault that this decision was made by someone at the BBC.So anyone who is prepared to attack a contributor to a blog without knowing the full facts is bang out of order.

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  • 18. At 11:44am on 20 Apr 2009, diamondtrottaz wrote:

    i agree totally with WilliamsChild....

    Richard Bacon should go back to the cop show he narrated on Bravo.... although it just goes to show take drugs & succeed in life... the BBC will ALWAYS leave a space for you even if it did sack you from Blue Peter...

    odious little g*mp!

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  • 19. At 12:06pm on 20 Apr 2009, diamondtrottaz wrote:

    ..... and having had a minute to think more along that line, the BBC is no better than the leaches in Westminster... with a bottomless pot of money to abuse at OUR expense, I read today that the top porker & his mate are "allowing" us to get them to & from work at the princely sum of 100K a year...

    I guess there will be a well constructed reason for this.... TERRORISM or some other pile of doo doo

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  • 20. At 12:26pm on 20 Apr 2009, Binkie wrote:

    On a positive note, I was extremely pleased that the issue of MP's expenses was given over to the majority of Victoria's programme and I give credit to Victoria and her team for this.

    How MP's squirm their way out of giving direct answers to some questions has become an artform.

    Never has my opinion and the behaviour of politicians and their spin doctors been so low and it will take a great deal to get my trust back if ever.

    I have written, very politely, to my local New Labour MP about the issue of expenses and received an extremely snotty and aggresive reply.Which didn't go down to well with me.

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  • 21. At 12:30pm on 20 Apr 2009, IanMcEwan42 wrote:

    How can goverment who has totaly messed up the country with the banking farce, try and justify that have earned the right to collect any wages at all.
    If I had carried out my job as badly as they have, I wouldn,t be in a job.
    Why are they not taking a pay cut this year. If they were too blind to see this mess coming, well they shouldn't be entitled to any expenses or wages.

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  • 22. At 12:34pm on 20 Apr 2009, IanMcEwan42 wrote:

    I think there should be be bonus system in place for goverment ministers.
    If they don't come up to the standards within the bonus system they should be penilised. Just the same way they have done for schools and hospitals.

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  • 23. At 12:41pm on 20 Apr 2009, wendymann wrote:

    how does an mp get away with the claim that it is cheaper to claim mortgage expenses on a second home which is for personal gain rather than paying for rented accommodation where there is no personal gain involved at any level?

    quite easily going by todays commentary.

    the point is that those who choose to buy should have to fund that purchase out of their personal earnings, mortgage included.

    mps should not be allowed to claim rental expenses if they have a readily available home/second home from which they might choose to profit by renting out.

    whats wrong with 100% transparency.


    and finally why does john pienar use so many words to say nothing?

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  • 24. At 12:43pm on 20 Apr 2009, wendymann wrote:

    "the BBC is no better than the leaches in Westminster"

    they are effectively government employees -- civil servants

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  • 25. At 12:46pm on 20 Apr 2009, wendymann wrote:

    "..the only reason listeners comment on presenters and programmes here, is that the last place where we were allowed to discuss all aspects of Radio 5 or any radio programmes for that matter ,(The POV radio board )was closed down on April 3rd of this year..

    2 years and a half years previous to that the radio 5 station board was closed down."

    as with government any form of criticism that goes against policy is deemed to be terrorism or extremism so must be eliminated/eradicated.

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  • 26. At 12:51pm on 20 Apr 2009, IanMcEwan42 wrote:

    If the public have got to use overpriced railway system to get to work.
    I am sure our politicians who doing nothing to impprove this system should be able to use it.

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  • 27. At 12:52pm on 20 Apr 2009, wendymann wrote:

    "listeners with a brain"

    the bbc no longer sees itself as catering for that section of the population .. its main interest is self preservation, funding and the governments (any government) remit - it is why we can get the DEC appeal denied and jeremy bowen (hardly a critic of israel) deemed to be biased.

    the brains have been removed deliberately prior to broadcasting.

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  • 28. At 12:55pm on 20 Apr 2009, TRIANDAFILO wrote:

    i have been listening to this programme on a rare day off. i tried to ring in to say how much i have enjoyed it. my congrats to the presenter, producers et al.

    i became so involved in it i am ignoring family demands and have not bothered to get dressed yet.

    the variety of topics linked by the theme of mp's expenses has been enlightening and allows the public to make up its own mind on what they are all up to!

    as it happens i love eminem so that has been a bonus.

    My conclusion to the mp expenses is allow public to see every single thing they claim and the lobby correspondents should not feel intimidated by drawing attention to this. the mps should have some pride and not allow themselves to appear greedy, why would you claim for a stool or plantpot? this is not a party political issue.

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  • 29. At 1:02pm on 20 Apr 2009, wendymann wrote:

    Carrie vs Nick Vinehill

    frankly if anyone relies on 5live for their news then they frankly deserve each other.

    as for pmqs its a filler, there is no real analysis regardless of presenter. mayo is no better than victoria he just chooses his co presenters a little more carefully, ie kermode etc.

    one has to realise the bbc does not seek to debate, discuss or explain news events , issues or people in an intelligent manner other than from a perspective that largely chimes with government and the right of center - neo conservative political consensus that is en vogue these days.

    they dont see it because that is their political environment .

    to pretend that it is impartial, without agenda is as ridiculous as to claim that the bbc trust is without bias and agenda.

    with respect to tadays show why are mps today allowed to justify the unjustifiable, why is john pienar et al so frightened of asking the hard qustions?

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  • 30. At 1:04pm on 20 Apr 2009, wendymann wrote:

    TRIANDAFILO:

    great 5live is at least serving a constituency of one!

    clearly not a total waste then.

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  • 31. At 1:22pm on 20 Apr 2009, carrie wrote:

    wendymann:

    I do not depend on the station for news, but I did appreciate the rolling news qualities that existed when the station was launched. It is also true that when there is a big issue they try to cover it and depending on the presenter, it can be quite good. Frankly the major point of grief for me is that PMQs are not dissected properly and the handover to Mayo is clumsy; it would be so much better if he kept the preamble and post PMQs discussion totally for his programme. I do not think Victoria can do it, sorry. If you watch the TV version you are left with the risible Anita Anand primly reading out emails to the studio group. Daft, I like the way Mayo actually gets a proper discussion going.

    As for the music crits on a Monday, well I am sorry but this is lite, lite, lite and a proper review on a music station would be better than hearing John Mann's take on Eminem.

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  • 32. At 1:46pm on 20 Apr 2009, wendymann wrote:

    carrie

    just accept that 5live is not a news station it is a presenter led station that gives news bulletins.

    it does not provide insight or in depth coverage (the bbc gave up on that some years ago) .

    so stop trying to claim for it something it does not have or do and will not do under present political climate and leadership.

    i dont care for mayo, he is as soft as any other 5live presenter and the discussions are froth . as ive said there is nothing to choose between any 5live presenter these days.

    if you listen then understand 5live has an agenda, it performs to a remit of superficial . you may as well watch paint dry or radio2/1 etc. radio 4 is not that better .

    local radio provides more political comment etc than any of the nationals.

    if you want more then look elsewhere, they are not listening to you and will not listen. they listen to the man/woman in government who gives the funding.

    if youre serious about politics then pmq is the superficial, circus act . and is not worth the time and effort you are putting into it.

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  • 33. At 2:04pm on 20 Apr 2009, laughingmarmalade wrote:

    it could be worse, they could employ Fiona Phillips or Colin Murray permanently instead of Mayo!!

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  • 34. At 2:05pm on 20 Apr 2009, archicrooks wrote:

    Sorry Wendy

    the zillions of trailers on the network advertise 5live as a NEWS and sports station so really you are incorrect in your assumption the network isnt a news station.

    it is a poor news network however, a shadow of its former self. ironic really just having "celebrated" its 15th birthday !!

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  • 35. At 2:06pm on 20 Apr 2009, carrie wrote:

    Mmmm. My MP is Tessa Jowell. PMQs are not superficial, the fodder for contact and activity is contained therein. To act you have to listen. Of course all the yelling is distracting and the froth as you call it covers some of the issues, but nevertheless if it can't be Radio Four covering it properly, Five is the only alternative, and its service to listeners should be serious, not dumbed down.

    In my opinion local radio here in London does not really make the grade. Now there is a subject for Victoria..........

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  • 36. At 2:06pm on 20 Apr 2009, carrie wrote:

    laughing marmalade, Colin Murray will get the Mayo show when he leaves for Radio Two, just watch.....

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  • 37. At 2:14pm on 20 Apr 2009, nesssteddybear wrote:

    love the show but sarting to get cheesed off with this obsession with music on the programme .if i want to be listen to the latest hits radio 1 oe one extra do that job please stick to news and sport

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  • 38. At 8:06pm on 20 Apr 2009, WilliamsChild wrote:

    Carrie, are you sure that Colin Murray will replace Simon Mayo?

    What a shower of dumbells.

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  • 39. At 9:44pm on 20 Apr 2009, Gavin Corder wrote:

    Look VD dear you are absent more than present. Give it up.

    You don't do news. You don't do current affairs. You don't do interviews. You don't do politics. You don't do arts. You don't do music. You don't do film. You

    You don't even stop people talking over each other as we heard this morning.

    Go away!

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  • 40. At 12:57pm on 21 Apr 2009, joeblogger wrote:

    Tesco

    Who can blame them? Tesco is allowed to practise the poorest business ethics and morals in the country because the Government's policies allow it to do so. Some decades ago, Terence Leahy went to study Wallmart in the USA copied its business practices and pretended they were his own. The company is as greedy as it is fashionable to be today. It is the flagship of greed driven, profit obsessed capitalism. It has a one stop shop policy, it is monopolistic and will stop at nothing to eradicate competition caring for nothing or nobody but itself in pursuit of its own obscene profits, enough in one year to eradicate world poverty I should imagine, not that Tesco would be conscious of that kind of statistic nor would it wish to be. It is a company that cares nothing for the historical and traditional retail outlets in towns and cities throughout the UK having spent the past twenty years or more destroying the infrastructure of towns across the length and breadth of the country. These are the reasons why though the vast majority of greed driven British citizens support the company, there remain thank goodness a number, I think the figure you are quoting is about 5% of the population, who are still discerning enough to see through the greed and selfishness and to have principles about fairness.

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  • 41. At 12:58pm on 21 Apr 2009, Binkie wrote:

    I have been delighted with the extremely interesting output over the last two days.

    I heard John Mann ( apparently he received some rather unsavoury comments about his expenses views from some of his so called fellow MP's ) on tuesdays programme saying that people at the Treasury listened to yesterdays programme and I really don't now how true it is but he did say that it the content on MP's expenses did have some influence on GB bringing forward a review next week.

    I won't hold my breath but credit where credit is do to Victoria and her team.

    The point is that if a major national radio such as 5live is going broadcast stuff about celebs,football and offspring all the time then the politicians must get the impression that no one is bothered what they get up too.

    On a side issue Victoria's interview with Paul Flynn was a bit different from last week when Nolan was in charge, he tried to blame the expenses issue on the media and he tried that one again today but Victoria slapped him down.

    Nice one !

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  • 42. At 1:07pm on 21 Apr 2009, joeblogger wrote:

    I want to congratulate you on your programme involving John Mann MP. I hope he is genuine. One of the problems I have is trusting the motives of any MP in this country for obvious reasons. Hope is what makes me wish to believe in the honesty of John Mann. If his motives are genuine, he's a brave man (pardon the pun). The usual modus operendi of the establishment especially insecure meglomaniacal leaders like Gordon Brown when faced with challenges from people like John Mann is to close ranks and seek to discredit the challenger. It's only when someone comes along brave enough to sustain the challenge in the face of emotional and professional blackmail that any progress is possible.I hope that people like John Mann can in fact encourage Brown to protect the general public from the greedy excesses of the dishonest members of parliament who have brought this country's reputation plunging to the depths of indecency.

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  • 43. At 6:16pm on 21 Apr 2009, carrie wrote:

    I think Mann is probably a straight down the line bloke, and I regret he was badmouthed by his own colleagues in the Party. Vicky sounded a bit disappointed that it wasn't the Lib Dems and Tories after his guts, but plenty of time for that when the MEP expenses gravy train hits the fan, because there the Conservatives are seemingly the masters.

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  • 44. At 7:43pm on 21 Apr 2009, Binkie wrote:

    I agree Carrie, I don't think many tories will be relishing the thought of their full expenses being published.

    Strange though that due to public pressure GB wants the gravy train all sorted out more quickly and before July Ist.Which is exactly the time that all the MP's expenses are due for publication.

    Shame the MP's voted to keep the second home allowance last time it was voted on last year.They would probably be seen in slightly a more favourable light than they are now but they know best....

    Please keep the standard of Victoria's show up with the last couple of days.It was like listening to 5live as it used to be.

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  • 45. At 10:21pm on 21 Apr 2009, joeblogger wrote:

    Leonard-Zelig at 12.26PM wrote 'How MP's squirm their way out of giving direct answers to some questions has become an artform'.Whilst I agree with Leonard's sentiments entirely, I should remind him politely that the word art derives from the Greek verb 'Ars - Artis' which means skill. There's nothing skillful about the way unrepentant greedy MPs milk the system.Their arrogance in doing so exacerbates the problem.

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  • 46. At 12:17pm on 23 Apr 2009, makz31 wrote:

    I am a 32 mother of two 8 yr and 2 yr old. I have started a 6 yr course in medicine this year at Man Uni. I was told by many I must be crazy. I graduated wuth a 2:1 in Aersopace engineering. Had my daughter during my degree. I realised soon after graduating that the aerospace industry was not suitable for my and my young family's needs, especially when I was asked at a job interview if I was planning to have more children. I then did a PGCE secondary maths over tree years part time. I paid for my daughter's nursery by the bursary I recieved. Instead of sitting at home doing nothing I chose to gain a professional qualification and care for my young family at the same time. I worked as a teacher for 4 years but then I had my son. After a year's maternity leave I decided that teaching was not where my heart was. Life is a gift only given once and I didn't want to live the rest of my life doing something my heart wasn't in. So I applied for medicine. I don't have chemistry Alevel so I am having to an extra year. But I am happy and content. I am being the best mother and the best wife Ican but I also want to fullfil my personal ambition and aspirations and if the opportunity is ther then why not?
    I am the ldest on th course ofcourse and the only one with children. But I got the highest mark in the first semester exams and hope to get the top mark at the end of the year too. I work around my family, study at night, whatever I have to do. My husband and my children are very supportive. Why should I not avail the opportunity that is avaialbe to me.
    Its hard but nothing good in life comes easy in my experience. I am loving every minute :-)

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