Comments for http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_pm_glass_box_5.shtml http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_pm_glass_box_5.shtml en-gb 30 Fri 29 May 2015 01:12:43 GMT+1 A feed of user comments from the page found at http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_pm_glass_box_5.shtml Chris Ghoti http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_pm_glass_box_5.shtml?page=98#comment80 Cossackgirl @ 80, the trouble is that the shorthand would be s/h/it, and I am not sure the mods will allow that.Well, I shall give it a try and see! Tue 12 May 2009 14:02:24 GMT+1 Cossackgirl http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_pm_glass_box_5.shtml?page=97#comment79 66.TIHThanks for the tip "straight from the horse's mouth" so to speak. The way you put it, I'd keep my money...72. Mittfh - re (74) Chris_GhotiLISTEN TO THIS MAN! He knows what he is talking about. The only thing I would add, Chris, I am beginning to have my doubts as to whether TRW is a s/he as you put it. I think TRW could be an "it", an outmoded computer model, left and forgotten in some lab, under the utterly false impression that it has some message for the rest of us. Mon 11 May 2009 17:50:24 GMT+1 Tomupnorth http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_pm_glass_box_5.shtml?page=96#comment78 Might I suggest that MP's drop the term 'honourable' when addressing each other in the House. It always did sound silly but in the light of recent events it is a positive insult to the electorate. Mon 11 May 2009 17:45:54 GMT+1 JockDahnSaarf http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_pm_glass_box_5.shtml?page=95#comment77 "None of the Above" - what a splendid idea!Only one problem, we need a real constitution to handle the outcome.The present unwritten "joke" constitution is incapable of handling a first past the post winner that does not want to form a government.Could we have a real constitution that could cope with proper democracy?Jock. Mon 11 May 2009 16:54:47 GMT+1 Chris Ghoti http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_pm_glass_box_5.shtml?page=93#comment76 Big Sister @ 76, would that be the sort that are in place for (say) sales reps or other not-senior employees of businesses? the ones that require them to produce a receipt and show that it was for something the company would have paid for if the boss had been there when it was bought?It'll never catch on. Far too simple and far too straightforward and far too honest. Mon 11 May 2009 13:57:43 GMT+1 Big Sister http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_pm_glass_box_5.shtml?page=92#comment75 Vyle, sadly, I think you are right. It is an unfortunate truth that, when put in such a position, many people (possibly most) are tempted to push such a system to the limit (self interest, I'm afraid). No political party is exempt from such a possibility.The only way to stop the less desirable side of human nature from emerging is to put in place systems that simply don't allow it to do so. Mon 11 May 2009 12:29:05 GMT+1 vainly_here http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_pm_glass_box_5.shtml?page=91#comment74 Surely we can't have a general election until all MPs' expenses have been published? And how do we know the next lot will be any better? Mon 11 May 2009 12:25:58 GMT+1 Chris Ghoti http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_pm_glass_box_5.shtml?page=90#comment73 mittfh, you are wasting your time. TRW doesn't actually *think* about these things; s/he just reels them off, for page after page, free-associating from one failed left-wing regime to another.And as someone once wrote, "free-association writes awful easy, but it reads awful hard." Mon 11 May 2009 11:06:22 GMT+1 Chris Ghoti http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_pm_glass_box_5.shtml?page=88#comment72 Thanks, Big Sister. That worked. Mon 11 May 2009 11:03:35 GMT+1 mittfh http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_pm_glass_box_5.shtml?page=87#comment71 TRW: So how do you propose on a) increasing the number of people from "ordinary" backgrounds considering politics as a career choice,b) increase the number of those who are already elected into the top jobs,c) discourage them from adopting the herd mentality and becoming as corrupt as their colleagues from more privileged backgrounds?While we'd all like to see an open, transparent, and honest bunch of politicians, I have a strange feeling we'll have to wait for pigs to be genetically engineered to sprout usable wings beforehand...Unfortunately, politics and corruption seem to go hand in hand. Although Silvio Berlusconi appears to have bucked the trend with his slightly unorthodox approach to picking parliamentary candidates...(Interesting tactic if applied over here - it would certainly grab the attention of the tabloids...) Mon 11 May 2009 11:01:37 GMT+1 chrisstian http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_pm_glass_box_5.shtml?page=86#comment70 What a great idea for an independent overseer of MP's expenses. Why use tax payers money to fund a new investigative body? May I suggest a sealed tender by newspaper/media groups to do it in the public interest? I am sure they would welcome the opportunity to have access to MP's expense accounts. The public will actually make money from this. What about the BBC and PM giving regular updates if you won the tendering process? (Eddies update). I expect a reduction of at least 50% using your journalistic investigative expertise? Mon 11 May 2009 10:36:14 GMT+1 U13879388 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_pm_glass_box_5.shtml?page=85#comment69 To me this all points to a general failure of the Brutish ruling elite.Our trusted Oxbridge elite is in effect useless. Useless as the economist mathematical whizz kids they claimed to be. Useless as the civil servants directing things from the absurd Home Office, advising the Treasury and advising the Ministry of Defense on its absurdly outmoded militaristic neo-colonialism.The elite is useless because the class they represent is dead.Maybe the rich were needed in the 19th Century to accumulate capital (They alone owned more than they could consume - even in luxuries)Now they are redundant, and EQUALITY is all that is needed.They will not remain in power long.The SLUMPFLATION (4 to 5 million unemployed whilst the rich gorge themselves on booms in 10 bedroom mansions and the bourses) will finish them if we have courage enough to disempower them, put them instead to proper work and to replace their stupid market system.(Read St Vincent Cable to see how feeble the arguments against genuine ex post equality (and task/work/job reallocation) actually are) Majority decision making can bring about the proper policies of intergenerational equality via the tax system and the direction of labour.MPs' property scams demonstrate how we have the wrong CLASS in power. Honesty comes from a proper sense of justice. A proper sense of justice demands that our politicians, our civil servants, our CEOs, our thinkers act in the interests of the dispossessed classes and come from them.As I used to describe it in America, we need people with Congealed Rice's background and Jesse Jackson's politics.Here, the problem is not finding 'leaders'. Goodness knows, there are plenty enough talented people from Asia and the Caribbean here, with the ability and willingness to redistribute the accumulated Brutish surpluses to the wretched of the earth.The problem is getting a majority of traditional working class and middle class people to acknowledge their indebtednesses (whether relatively small or huge) to the dispossessed of the world and vote in a proper government.We need a people with the honesty and humility.The two go together. They let the right people get the right jobs and do them in the right way.Here's to class justice! Sun 10 May 2009 23:23:08 GMT+1 U13879388 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_pm_glass_box_5.shtml?page=83#comment68 Four British soldiers died in Afghanistan on Friday. Died in a place they shouldn't be. Killed because for the Taliban it is the ONLY way to get rid of the British invaders. It wasn't peace marches that got the US out of Vietnam, it was US losses.That is why Country Joe sang The-Feel-Like-I'm-Fixing-to-Die-Rag. (Substitute 'Afghan-is-tan' for 'Vietnam' in the song to see it all) Sun 10 May 2009 23:21:58 GMT+1 U13879388 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_pm_glass_box_5.shtml?page=82#comment67 The Guardian on Saturday (still on sale in garages in Scotland) has it that:'The BoE braced for third wave of financial crises'Will Hutton in today's Observer says much the same thing.(Except that he 'can't believe' that some small improvement will eventually come about given the trillions of voters' money being pumped in. Then he explains how. It all goes into a speculative boom bubble on the FTSE, into house purchase by the very, very, very rich, and, later, on currency speculation.)On Friday Britain is shown to be more UNEQUAL than it has been for 45 years. (Arnold Toynbee's grand-daughter on Saturday describes Labour as delivering world class INEQUALITY.Meanwhile the commentator, Hyde, links the shock jock shock and Gurkhas to the DNA data base worries. All Home Office stupidities. Sun 10 May 2009 23:21:01 GMT+1 Big Sister http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_pm_glass_box_5.shtml?page=81#comment66 Chris: Try copying and pasting the link into your address bar - The link is definitely working, though! Sun 10 May 2009 22:28:42 GMT+1 U12196018 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_pm_glass_box_5.shtml?page=80#comment65 Cossckgirl (65) - The ex-Deputy Speaker was Lord Naseby, a Tory, and pretty useless in his job as Deputy Speaker. So useless in fact that he was rarely offered the opportunity to perform the role. He got turfed out of the Commons in 1997I'd keep your money in your pocket regarding an October eection. Sun 10 May 2009 22:13:40 GMT+1 Cossackgirl http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_pm_glass_box_5.shtml?page=79#comment64 Joe, the person who called for the dissolution of Parliament is an ex-Deputy Speaker, so we probably can rely on his assessment of the situation. I am beginning to wonder as to whether I should put a bet on a General Election this October?..We are living in interesting times. Sun 10 May 2009 20:54:25 GMT+1 Chris Ghoti http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_pm_glass_box_5.shtml?page=77#comment63 Big Sister @ 46, that link has given me a 404 error all day.Maybe there are things I am not meant to know! :-( Sun 10 May 2009 20:08:19 GMT+1 funnyJoedunn http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_pm_glass_box_5.shtml?page=76#comment62 Yeah, Big Sis, Thanks for the info on Mr M. I did take a peek. I got about half way through the article and became so angry, I couldn't go on!It sickens me to think these are the same people who think nothing of castigating the single mother who takes in a bit of ironing work to make ends meet, whilst being driven half nuts trying to get decent benefits. I say single mums, there are many other groups whose live are made truly difficult, if not horrendous by these same people's legislation. I think it would be a good thing if a public demonstration in parliament square over these revelation. I hear today some prominent Bod has called for Mr Brown to dissolve parliament and call an election. Sun 10 May 2009 19:54:55 GMT+1 Cossackgirl http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_pm_glass_box_5.shtml?page=75#comment61 59. Big Sister - to hear is to obey, but as I posted in (58) I had to finish writing a lecture today to a deadline that has crept up on me, so was in a rush.I have just been and seen the link you have so usefully provided. I am delighted that my inner instincts about him were right after all. Consider my (drat) at 43 changed to Hurrah!I feel a bit like the farmer in an old joke, who muses, "My neighbour's cow has died. What is it to me? It's not my cow. I hardly ever speak to that neighbour. But OH JOY!!"And I owe it all to you, Big Sis... Sun 10 May 2009 19:23:53 GMT+1 Cossackgirl http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_pm_glass_box_5.shtml?page=74#comment60 Mine at 60.Yes, it's staff, staff, staff. Don't all rush in at once... Sun 10 May 2009 19:05:43 GMT+1 Cossackgirl http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_pm_glass_box_5.shtml?page=72#comment59 44. C_GChris, a tiny extra bit on business expenses and bankers.About 2-3 years ago (well before the crunch's gone public), extravagances of certain American banks were being debated and I noted that HSBC was commended for exceptional frugality with senior stuff expence accounts. The phrase used was smth like, "In HSBC fewer top execs are allowed to fly First Class than some other banks have private jets."Being a customer, I remembered that radio conversation when it turned out that HSBC is one of the very few banks left standing, bloodied but unbowed - perhaps the fickle lady Prudence gave up on Gordon and found new champions. Sun 10 May 2009 19:02:51 GMT+1 Big Sister http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_pm_glass_box_5.shtml?page=71#comment58 Cossackgirl, my post was meant to be helpful. If you follow the link you'll see what Mr. Miliband (David, that is) has been up to - and I personally don't think he should be very proud of himself. Sun 10 May 2009 19:01:56 GMT+1 Cossackgirl http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_pm_glass_box_5.shtml?page=70#comment57 Hello! This morning I turned the diary page and discovered a deadline for a lecture I am writing which I fancied 3 weeks away. Now Johnny's back!Joe, the name that escapes you for the moment is Margaret Moran. I have heard her too and you posted most of what I was coming to say, except to add that she has THREE homes (constituency, London and love-nest in Southampton). BBC reports that she switched her second home from London to her partner's literally days before claiming from us £22k for dry rot treatment. What an incredible coincidence!!!She does protest a lot about the difficulty of being an MP, I hope her constituents might help her with this problem at the next election. Sun 10 May 2009 18:42:49 GMT+1 funnyJoedunn http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_pm_glass_box_5.shtml?page=69#comment56 Sid further to your query about the patriotism phrase, The MP with the second house in Southampton, as far as I can tell from an interview today on TV, is trying to say, I wouldn't be able to serve my constituents as I am duty bound to do as an MP, if I didn't conduct my lifestyle in the way I have chosen. Even if it is against the spirit of the rules. Isn't this like saying, 'I was doing for the good of my constituents guv 'onest'. That is if you read between the lines, lips, whatever.I am beginning to feel sad and sorry for them now. A bit pathetic really. Sun 10 May 2009 17:19:45 GMT+1 funnyJoedunn http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_pm_glass_box_5.shtml?page=67#comment55 Chris and Sid,Your 53 and 54 wasn't there when I posted my 55. But, yes Chris this is what I mean in a nutshell. Sun 10 May 2009 17:08:31 GMT+1 funnyJoedunn http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_pm_glass_box_5.shtml?page=66#comment54 Hi Sid,Yes your right. It still is, as far as I know.They troll out the line, " It was all within the rules". It feels the same to me as using the defense, " I was only following orders"When using that phrase, I was thinking of those kinds of one liners. like, " How am I supposed to serve my constituents" (without all this lot on expenses) And the latest one I've heard is, " are we going to go back to a time when only rich people could afford to be MPs"? this to me is trying to hold back the inevitable. using the sort of defense like, "I was doing it for the good of the country just adds insult to injury. This is what I meant when referring to the last refuge of a scoundrel. Perhaps not quite so visible at first sight? I might even be wrong. But, somehow.... Sun 10 May 2009 16:22:37 GMT+1 Sindy http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_pm_glass_box_5.shtml?page=65#comment53 Chris - That's what I take it to mean - I wasn't sure how it was relevant to fjd's no. 11 ... Sun 10 May 2009 16:17:25 GMT+1 Chris Ghoti http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_pm_glass_box_5.shtml?page=64#comment52 Sid @ 52, that's what I have heard too, and I would interpret it as meaning that only after every other excuse (refuge) has failed does a scoundrel take refuge in claims of patriotism.How else does it get taken? Sun 10 May 2009 16:06:09 GMT+1 Sindy http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_pm_glass_box_5.shtml?page=62#comment51 fjd - re your earlier query ... when I was young, patriotism was the last refuge of a scoundrel.Not sure if that's relevant. Sun 10 May 2009 15:19:40 GMT+1 funnyJoedunn http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_pm_glass_box_5.shtml?page=61#comment50 Cossackgirl (50)I agree with other posters about purpose built utility buildings for MPs, or something similar. However, as I understand it, this wouldn't help the MP (her name escapes me) who is now overtly angry for having revealed that her second home is in Southampton! I thought the concessions on second homes was supposedly because MPs needed to be near/in London to carry out their parliamentary duties. Also so that their families could visit perhaps when they are in LONDON, not Southampton. This MP says it is the case that her partner works and lives in Southampton and she needs to be able to conduct a relationship and family life. No no no. Rubbish! These allowances are given for MPs to be near London. Not so the significant other can live and work in Southampton. On that basis, every MP could have a house where they thought fit for their own personal reasons. I'm sorry, these allowances were there to enable an MP to serve their constituents taking account of the social and practical issues of living in/near Parliament. If this couple feel that they cannot meet this criteria, perhaps she should question whether the spirit of the rules or her relationship comes first? and then make a decision. She says shes angry about having her personal life put in the public realm in this way. Not as angry as many of the voters are, I would have thought love at finding out! There is one way to get out of public life though isn't there? Sun 10 May 2009 13:38:02 GMT+1 Cossackgirl http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_pm_glass_box_5.shtml?page=60#comment49 47. mrs-nostalgieCannot leave without thanking you for the excellent post, suggestions about the MP's accommodation in London particularly spot on. Recently somebody said on R4 that after the Olympics the athletes' village accommodation may be adapted for this purpose, but I am not sure if it's appropriate. Any ideas? Sun 10 May 2009 09:30:12 GMT+1 Cossackgirl http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_pm_glass_box_5.shtml?page=59#comment48 fJd and Big Sister Doing this at the gallop!No, Big Sis, I am not in a position to be sure, I was quoting a Radio 4 interview.I am here now because Ed Miliband has just appeared on AM show on BBC 1, so now I know that he is our Energy and Climate Change Secretary.Joe, anything you want to know about him, go to Google and type in the name, you'll get endless pages of informative guff. I have not seen him at length before this morning and found a man trying to come over in P. G. Wodehouse's words as "a bonhomious cove", but to me he sounded smug, supercilious and patronizing. What's Labour about him? -he is just a glossy politician. I've seen enough! Sun 10 May 2009 09:25:08 GMT+1 lovetobemp http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_pm_glass_box_5.shtml?page=58#comment47 In our areas of north eat of england we call the people who cheat social security"scum bags".what can we call the MPs who cheat the system? Sun 10 May 2009 09:20:27 GMT+1 mrs-nostalgie http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_pm_glass_box_5.shtml?page=56#comment46 And Hillary Benn & David Drew. These MPs, one a Cabinet Minister, also managed not to milk the allowance scheme 'within the rules' (Does anyone think that that claim sounds remarkably like 'I was following orders'?)The MPs Allowance scheme, (not expenses, there's a difference,) was instigated by the Thatcher Government when it was felt MP's pay could not be increased by the amount needed for them to do their job properly, as the electorate would not understand or put up with it.David Cameron et al are being very quiet about it all for obvious reasons. He, for example, claimed more last year than Jacquie Smith.Pay them properly to do a proper job, (no Directorships or Consultancies on the side,) during proper working hours.Have publicly owned Government housing available, secure, furnished & maintained, that reverts to public ownership & on to the next Hon. Member as each one leaves. If any chose to put in their own furnishings & decor, they pay for it.Have a pool of professional secretaries, researchers on which all MPs can draw. MP's family members can apply to be employed by this pool.Next week, Eddie, can we hear from the decent MPs who have not claimed for TVs, mole-exterminating or gazebos, before we all lose faith in what, for better or worse, is still one of the world's admirable democracies? Sun 10 May 2009 08:46:52 GMT+1 Big Sister http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_pm_glass_box_5.shtml?page=55#comment45 Cossackgirl: Are you sure about David Miliband being in the clear?http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/mps-expenses/5293729/David-Miliband-challenged-by-gardener-MPs-expenses.html Sun 10 May 2009 08:22:19 GMT+1 funnyJoedunn http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_pm_glass_box_5.shtml?page=54#comment44 Cossackgirl and Chris Ghoti.I knew who the miliband's are but, don't know anything about their history or how they find themselves in parliament. I didn't understand why they do not seem to be caught up in it.It is so, so sad to see all this stuff coming out that we probably always suspected. I guess it seemed tolerable to us as long as it was kept in the denial cupboard. They were doing all this though, probably, knowing that if the public ever did find out, this would be the consequence. However, it seems to have been the nature of this particular beast to perpetuate it's own life, not unlike a junkie who can't help going back to the junk, even though, he/she knows its wrong. The pull is just too powerful and the addict too weak to restrain. Of course, there was no enforcement agency bust them, shock them into the reality of their own behaviour. So this expenses train that can turn MPs into property developers on the back of free public money, was just too much to resist for some. Many others on the sliding scale of habit dependence not quite as blatant, but just as addicted.Now the journey for anyone trapped in an immoral dependence culture, (just like alcoholism or drug addiction), need to make the first step out of it. With help, space and understanding, our political culture needs to make that step of naming the immoral trap it finds itself in for what it was/is. An adictive immoral culture that perpetuated itself and survived through being hidden from public scrutiny. They need to stop talking all this false justification about it being in the rules and allowances and to name and shame the beast itself. This is not (as many MPs themselves like to cite over crime), a victimless immorality. We the ordinary citizen are the victims of their misdemeanors. When they try and justify their behaviour, they are trying to say, " but", there are no victims to my behaviour. Well apart from themselves, there is the rest of the voting population who are victims. They then need to begin the road to recovery, realising, that one drink(just like dependency) from the filthy trough, could cause the whole addiction again.Perhaps those MPs that have not become addicted to the expenses culture need to come to the fore, let us know who they are, and, perhaps take some moral lead in this. A beacon of hope and light perhaps through a very dark time. Where are you? We need you?Sermon over Vicar. Sun 10 May 2009 07:20:26 GMT+1 Chris Ghoti http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_pm_glass_box_5.shtml?page=53#comment43 The difference between business expenses and parliamentary expenses, as far as I can see, is that business expenses come out of the profits of the businesses and the people running the businesses therefore have a vested interest in keeping them low and making tham accountable; parliamentary expenses come out of the electorate's pockets and nobody therefore has any particular interest in keeping an eye on them. After all, people may decide not to buy the goods of a thoroughly corrupt business, so they have a choice about paying for sheating expenses claims there; we have no choice about paying for the politicians, because if we don't pay tax we get jailed. Sat 09 May 2009 22:26:28 GMT+1 Cossackgirl http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_pm_glass_box_5.shtml?page=51#comment42 41.Lady SueYou ask your question directly under my post at 40 which names the pure souls made known so far.42.fJdIsn't Nick Harvey a Liberal?I agree with you about Alan Johnson and he kept appearing on interviews and looking more uncomfortable by the minute (clearly blushing on the inside for his colleagues). This is all about human nature rather than political parties, I feel.Yes, both David and Ed appear in the clear (drat), don't you think their expenses would have been gone over very closely? I assume your multiple question marks do not signify unfamiliarity with our Foreign Secretary, David Milliband, who is doing such a fine job of annoying and alienating the rest of the world on our behalf. And his brother Ed who is also in the Cabinet, unless there's been a reshuffle. Sat 09 May 2009 21:25:07 GMT+1 funnyJoedunn http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_pm_glass_box_5.shtml?page=50#comment41 Did I hear Phil Woolas right??"it would be no different to getting a receipt from a hotel bar". Nappies?, Women's clothes?. I suggest a hotel bar receipt would not be so diverse. Let 'em keep digging!Nick Harvey MP. You know what I just realised I don't even know what party he belongs too. Thats the British parliamentary system for you. However, on expenses,Sequin said, "Whats to be done then"?Nick Harvey said,"Blah blah blah blah blah, not paid enough, blah blah, to carryout their work, blah blah blah"Spot the next move in Nick (what party) Harvey's Answer. He also seemed pre-occupied with the damaging body blows these revelations are reeping rather than the wrongness of the system. Yes Sequin, you are right we would never have got to much of the seriousness of the 'corruption' if we had left it to the MP's, as they would have wanted. Cossackgirl,I suggest Michael Heseltine was/is personally very rich as an individual as well as a politician. This may have had something to do with his expenses claims? I also (although I have no party affiliations and I loath to say) feel, he just might have had a bit of integrity most of this lot don't.Alan Johnson,I have no doubt his expenses record comes from his political convictions. But, perhaps more importantly, Mr Johnson was a normal citizen at one time (unlike many MPs) in that, he was a postman for many years working his way through the union ranks to become leader of the communications union. It could be that his conscience just would not let him be so corrupt. It would be nice to think this was the case. However, Prescott took the same route too through the union too didn't he. Bang goes my theory then!The milibands???? Sat 09 May 2009 16:59:25 GMT+1 Lady_Sue http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_pm_glass_box_5.shtml?page=49#comment40 On MPs - have any of them not made unreasonable claims? In other words, are there any MPs with the integrity not to try to claim for every last bath plug? Couldn't believe Barbara Follet's claim for £75K for security guards. The Follets are multi-millionaires and their house is like Fort Knox. Disgraceful. Sat 09 May 2009 15:58:56 GMT+1 Cossackgirl http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_pm_glass_box_5.shtml?page=48#comment39 On acting within the rules: discussion is coming round to who actually made the rules and it looks like, once again, it's the MPs and the Speaker, not an independent body.38. fJdMany good points. I don't think many politicians go into politics because they want to fleece the public, or even to be oh so important. The idealistic young want to change the world, their country, the way things are done - which in a democracy suggests a political career. Then they enter the system which not many survive with their integrity unscathed. By the way, did you hear on R4 that neither the brothers Milliband, nor Alan Johnson, availed themselves of anything "within the rules"? Pure as the driven. Can be done. Michael Heseltine used to be careful like that when in power.Re dogs. I join Lady Sue in suggesting that you seriously consider a rescue, carefully, and the younger the better. But do believe me, an older cat would hate a young pup pestering it much more than a new but mature animal. Cats will usually be top dogs, anyway.As Chris pointed out before, the price of pedigree puppies can be very high (some to £700-900 or even more) and you don't always know what you're getting health-wise. Maybe try visiting your local rescue centres just to test the water and assess the talent? Sat 09 May 2009 15:01:53 GMT+1 Sindy http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_pm_glass_box_5.shtml?page=46#comment38 Phil Woollas is the immigration minister who was nodding while Joanna Lumley explained to him what he was going to do; Alan Carr is a comedian. Sat 09 May 2009 11:31:21 GMT+1 funnyJoedunn http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_pm_glass_box_5.shtml?page=45#comment37 One of the defences being put forward at the moment is, all this leaking of expenses, is going to undermine parliamentary democracy. Apart from the question of how and why does it have to do this? There is the question of patriotism being the last refuge of a scoundrel! Look, they say, if you do this to us you'll be doing the country a worse disservice than the one you have unveiled. RUBBISH!The next move folks they will try and get away with is the creation of an alternative system that would only seek to compensate for them having to give up the corruption of this one. Finally, they can not be compared with any other profession when it comes to trying to justify their greed and exploitation of our money. The simple fact is no other profession has the carte blanc, access they have to law making, and leadership. For instance, no other profession has the power to say how the rest of us should conduct our lives and form public and social policy. Only politicians have the power to pontificate on the short Cummings of say, the benefits system and one parent families etc. This is why, rightly so, they should be held to higher standards than the people they say they serve. Politicians want to say that this is unfair. NO it ain't. if this were so it just confirms the hypocrites that most of them I believe are! Sat 09 May 2009 10:24:39 GMT+1 jackhigh2747 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_pm_glass_box_5.shtml?page=44#comment36 Here we go again .....Yet another Minister cheating once again. Can somebody tell me why they keep letting them off . Don't they know this is theft, or do they think that they are above the law and can continue to do these things without recourse.The trouble is, we will have to endure the same politicians lining up to tell us this is only an oversight ....or a mistake...then the odd one will say there are only a small number of politicians that are crooked and do these things but the majority are honest individuals....Well maybe they are, but the growing truth of these continual events is that it seems there is an air of 'them and us' we [the politicians] are above the law and the rest of you are stupid enough to let us continue to fleece the country without any consequences. ISN'T IT ABOUT TIME THIS WAS STOPPED.There needs to be a radical change in the parliamntary setup and pay. Sat 09 May 2009 09:45:47 GMT+1 Lady_Sue http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_pm_glass_box_5.shtml?page=43#comment35 Sid: lost me. ISIHAC who either of them are. Sat 09 May 2009 09:44:57 GMT+1 Sindy http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_pm_glass_box_5.shtml?page=41#comment34 I was wondering who Phil Woolas reminded me of - then it came to me - he's Alan Carr!! Sat 09 May 2009 09:43:42 GMT+1 Lady_Sue http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_pm_glass_box_5.shtml?page=40#comment33 Jo: terribly funny!It was a good programme and agree that MPs claimed expenses being "within the rules" is not the response of a person with integrity. They simply thought they could get away with it. I wonder if MPs expenses have ever been explored so thoroughly before and what would turn up from the past.Pity you are married already - you and Eddie might have made a rival radio partnership to Richard and Judy. Sat 09 May 2009 09:06:24 GMT+1 Joker http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_pm_glass_box_5.shtml?page=39#comment32 Hello everyone,So now it seems you're no-one on this blog if you haven't sunbathed nude. I've asked Eddie to stop as it does distract Martha Kearney.Thanks for your comments. I thought we asked the right question about MPs expenses (where is personal responsibility in this debate? Is 'it was within the rules' a good enough defence?) but I'm not sure we brought you the right answers. Oh well.Have a good weekend,Jo Sat 09 May 2009 08:37:21 GMT+1 funnyJoedunn http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_pm_glass_box_5.shtml?page=38#comment31 Cossackgirl 30You started in me a search in earnest for a companion dog. Thanks for your Knowledgeable experience. I have had a dog before, (German Shepard). However, I wasn't the sole responsibility for its care. Nevertheless, I have the time now to devote and would be solely responsible. The other thing to consider would be cost, both purchase, health costs and insurance, (thats three things). However, I will not rush into the decision over which type of dog I would like. Good point about not letting them believe they are humans. I have watched 'the dog whisperer' too often to understand this.Lady Sue (31)How fortunate can one be, to find not one but two of them as rescues.I have to admit I wish the decision over such a companion was made easier for me by circumstance rather than me poring over adverts. The problem I see for me might be the vetting process that many rescue houses have. I live in a ground floor flat with no official garden. There is green space around my flat. (that would no doubt get used for late evening necessaries). However, I have park-land just across the road and more park-land within easy walking. Ample for a dog. I am aware of not wanting a yappy dog with a flat, (neighbours). I have asked one or two people where I live and I've received no negative response to owning a companion. The official rule is 'pets are allowed with restrictions'. However, their seem to be no 'written' rules. I already have a cat, but I have been told that as long as the dog comes as a puppy, my cat can cope as he will start off top dog (forgive the pun).Cossackgirl too.I do love animals. So much so, I can no longer watch most of the wildlife programs. This is because I know that at some point, after privileging us into, what is often, the beautiful the lives of the species in question. There is, these days, always the inevitable announcement that the subject in question is now on the verge of extinction, under threat, or being hunted for food or profit. I can't handle such emotional manipulation. Thank you for your thoughts and much to consider. Sat 09 May 2009 07:15:30 GMT+1 Lady_Sue http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_pm_glass_box_5.shtml?page=37#comment30 Joe: have you considered having two dogs? They keep each other company and seem to me half the work of one dog. I rescued my two Border Collies when they were tiny puppies and were "playing" on the road into town. They are just divine. Might I make a plea that you rescue a dog? There are so many needing good homes. Sat 09 May 2009 03:47:10 GMT+1 Cossackgirl http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_pm_glass_box_5.shtml?page=35#comment29 I am back and amazed to find fJd at 25, which wasn't there when I posted before.Joe, Chris is quite right about Cavaliers, they are healthier and taller than the somewhat bug-eyed Kings.A long time ago, a famous lady dog trainer wrote that you can keep any dog in a flat. You can keep a Great Dane - but, of course, then you must take him out five times a day for a gallop in the fields/parks and he will just treat your flat as a kennel. Such a regime makes it impossible for most.The important difference with cats is that you cannot leave the dog alone, particularly in a flat, for a long time - they pine for company.28. Chris, there are several breeds with snooty breeders, and the more they charge, the worse they can be. Yet all dogs want and need identical things in a relationship, though they do require different amounts of exercise. Once they know that you are the top dog, they shall fawn over you for the rest of their lives. If you know their limitations and don't think they are little humans the relationship can be perfect.Joe, the above is more for you, as you still have not said whether you ever kept dogs before.Sermon over, goodnight! Fri 08 May 2009 21:56:59 GMT+1 mittfh http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_pm_glass_box_5.shtml?page=34#comment28 I think Cavaliers look cute, but wouldn't like to be responsible for cleaning them up after a walk - being so low to the ground, they must get rather muddy...I've always thought Bassett Hounds and Dachshunds look odd - 1 1/2 dogs long and 1/2 dog high...Newfoundlands and St. Bernards could be interesting dogs to keep - although you'd have to train them very firmly from day one so they wouldn't go chasing other creatures whilst on-lead, as you wouldn't be able to stop them - they'd be walking you...But as anyone who's seen my online photo galleries knows, I have a soft spot for yellow labs. OK, so I'm biased in that Mum has one, and I lived in the same household as Bessie for about 6 years...Very friendly, usually well-behaved, will eat almost anything you give them (as well as anything they find on walks - discarded school lunches being a particular favourite!), but can sometimes be too intelligent..."Where did you throw that ball? I honestly can't find it!"So you start walking over towards the ball. Halfway there, the dog does a mad dash over to the ball, then sits there, grinning and wagging like mad."Why should I have to do all the running around here?!" Fri 08 May 2009 21:49:33 GMT+1 Chris Ghoti http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_pm_glass_box_5.shtml?page=33#comment27 fJd, if the problems you are thinking of are respiratory ones, the Cavalier King Charles spaniel has a longer nose than the ordinary King Charles, as well as slightly longer legs, and is said to have fewer difficuylties with breathing as a result.Cossackgirl, the ladies who sold my Ma her Tibetan (James Alexander Graham the Earl of Montrose, known as "Monty! Be NICE!") put the whole family through a positive-vetting procedure to make sure we were suitable to have such a creature deigning to share our house. I recommend getting in a team of deep-cleansing experts before you start to look for one, in case the breeders are as careful as the ones we met. After all, they only get two or three pups per litter, so they can afford to be very choosy who they sell them to. Fri 08 May 2009 21:37:16 GMT+1 Cossackgirl http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_pm_glass_box_5.shtml?page=32#comment26 Having regained composure a bit, 22 C_GI envy you the time with those lion dogs, they are a delight, thanks for reminding me. Always planned to get one some day.14.fJdThere you are, you could do well with that breed. And yet one of my best dogs was a liver/red hairy mongrel from the Battersea Dogs Home, who saw off a burglar, trying to get in through the kitchen window, on his first night at our house. I thought he was having a fit, until I saw a tall broad dark shape exiting our garden. Then I nearly had a fit myself!On your first point to me, I believe there is little the House of Lords itself can do to punish errant Peers, but seem to remember that they (or some of them) were suspended from the House for a certain period. As their daily attendance allowance is v.substantial this may have hurt. But not a lot... Fri 08 May 2009 21:19:47 GMT+1 Cossackgirl http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_pm_glass_box_5.shtml?page=30#comment25 Evening, all!23.Lady SueI am ashamed to confess that I shut my eyes to avoid those dreadful pictures. I am bad like that. Once visiting a little known game reserve in Kenya near Somali border, we were taken to see a herd of white rhinos (v. rare in Kenya). They had rangers guarding them 24 hrs and became tame as cows. You still couldn't approach them from the front but I took shots of my kids leaning on their sides. One female was pregnant and jokes were made about returning to see the calf.Just 2 months later the UK papers reported that Somali bandits crossed the border, shot the rangers and killed all the rhinos for their horns.I felt such impotent fury that if you put the killers against the wall and gave me a machine-gun I would have used it.It's ok, I know, I know, but they were defenceless and trusted humans. Sorry, I am starting to cry again. Fri 08 May 2009 21:03:46 GMT+1 funnyJoedunn http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_pm_glass_box_5.shtml?page=29#comment24 CossackgirlThanks so much for your in put. I've been on line and had a look. The Papillion looks a wow with it's wild ears. Funnily enough, I came across a king Charles the other day a neighbour was looking after for a friend. Still a puppy, it was gorgeous. However, I read that they can have some health concerns. I don't know whether to go for a rescue of some kind. I don't really mind a mixture dog as long as it can live in an apartment, but walked each day. Fri 08 May 2009 20:58:13 GMT+1 Anne P. http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_pm_glass_box_5.shtml?page=28#comment23 Lady Sue, you can find some info here http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/8038249.stm- looks as if homes are still needed for many of them. Fri 08 May 2009 19:29:17 GMT+1 Lady_Sue http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_pm_glass_box_5.shtml?page=27#comment22 (18) Cossackgirl, many thanks for that. Glad there are other dog/animal lovers on the blog. I would be modded forever if I posted what I think should be done to the family who so terribly neglected the animals in their care. That the RSPCA said it was the "worst case of animal cruelty" they had ever known just makes me want to weep/scream/react. Only hope that the animals concerned are now living somewhere lovely - PM - any hope of some reassurance on this? Fri 08 May 2009 19:02:59 GMT+1 Chris Ghoti http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_pm_glass_box_5.shtml?page=25#comment21 Cossackgirl @ 19, the two Tibetan Spaniels I have had to look after have both been the size of a peke to look at, but lived in the certain knowledge that they are lions really. It's easy to be cheerful at a rottweiler looking for trouble when you know you could bite his head off without effort. The astounding thing was that no large trouble-making dog ever *did* hurt either of them, considering how they would amble over to say hullo to slavering werehounds on the razzle. Fri 08 May 2009 18:32:40 GMT+1 Cossackgirl http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_pm_glass_box_5.shtml?page=24#comment20 20.SidLucky I came back:Bouvier Des Flandres is a shaggy huge ex-cattle dog, now used as a guide, guard or tracker. They are intelligent, lively, but also calm and sensible.Capable of extreme loyalty and courage.But, Sid, they are up to 68cm/27in tall at the shoulder and weigh up to 40kg/80lb. Bitches a wee bit smaller.Described as "an imposing dog giving an impression of great power".I would hate to see one of those getting bored around the house...Must dash, back after 9. Fri 08 May 2009 18:29:58 GMT+1 Sindy http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_pm_glass_box_5.shtml?page=23#comment19 Cossackgirl - any experience of bouviers des flandres? Mrs Sid would like one, having seen one working as a hearing dog ... Fri 08 May 2009 18:20:18 GMT+1 Cossackgirl http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_pm_glass_box_5.shtml?page=22#comment18 14. fJdI have my "Ultimate Dog Book" opened and my experience at your service.Have you kept dogs before? All terriers are fearless, adventurous and scrappy, but Tibetan Terriers, listed in Utility Group, along with Tibetan Spaniels and Tibetan Apso, are cheerful, thoughtful and playful.I had a Papillon once, not robust, but a total joy. A miniature Schnauzer is good, and all the spaniels, of course, King Charles being most popular.I had 2 Rottweilers once(professionally trained) and a Papillon who bullied them as puppies, but got much less bolshie in time. Fri 08 May 2009 18:16:21 GMT+1 Cossackgirl http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_pm_glass_box_5.shtml?page=20#comment17 12. Lady SueSorry, my love, I was so busy trying to avoid the word Labour in case of mods, that I quite forgot your social status. And what with your confessions of a sunbather just read out over the radio and your more recent skinny dipping with Sid on the Beach.....but no, it was an entirely different Baroness, and as she is in very hot water I am happy it's not you. Fri 08 May 2009 18:06:09 GMT+1 Lady_Sue http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_pm_glass_box_5.shtml?page=19#comment16 Big Sis, it was most blushworthy, I assure you. Thankfully the young policeman concerned saw the funny side and I never again went sunbathing in the nude without a wrap of some kind handy and don't ask my why I didn't use the sheet. I can't remember. I think I thought it funny at the time too!The family accused of animal cruelty - I just can't begin to think about it. I hope they are all sentenced in prisons where the biggest, toughest, meanest inmates have fluffy kittens tattooed on their arms. Fri 08 May 2009 17:48:02 GMT+1 steelpulse http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_pm_glass_box_5.shtml?page=18#comment15 Eddie. You know how to press my buttons don't you?Our Nige and his anti European stance. lolGood show though and how many media types could stand their expense claims to be scruitinised I wondered? But it isn't about them, is it the print media - politicians - "they are expected to show a higher level of moral probity" aren't they? lol Fri 08 May 2009 17:36:45 GMT+1 Big Sister http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_pm_glass_box_5.shtml?page=17#comment14 Lady Sue: We all blushed for you ;o) Fri 08 May 2009 17:34:42 GMT+1 funnyJoedunn http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_pm_glass_box_5.shtml?page=16#comment13 Cossackgirl (10)Do you know what happened to the investigation into the 4/5 lords who were known to have been paid vast amounts for political influence? Its just so unbelievable of these people down there. The same school, no doubt, who have no conscience in castigating single mums making a few comparative coppers on the side in trying to make life tolerable. These people have ruined party politics for me.By the way, Sorry didn't get back the other night. I too am now an animal lover. I'm looking for a little puppy at present. Something about the size of a border terrier or smaller. Fri 08 May 2009 17:34:03 GMT+1 funnyJoedunn http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_pm_glass_box_5.shtml?page=14#comment12 When I have ever had something read out, it seems to always be a young sounding depressed individual. Reminiscent of Marvin the paranoid android from 'Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy'. "Life don't talk to me about life".I was surprised at the match. Fri 08 May 2009 17:24:48 GMT+1 Lady_Sue http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_pm_glass_box_5.shtml?page=13#comment11 Cossackgirl, you are nervousing me! fJd, thankyou. Fri 08 May 2009 17:22:15 GMT+1 funnyJoedunn http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_pm_glass_box_5.shtml?page=12#comment10 Re police to look into leaking-expenses; Remind me again, the last refuge of a scoundrel is.....?Lady Sue, (6)Yeah, I bet you were a right cracker then! Fri 08 May 2009 17:19:14 GMT+1 Cossackgirl http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_pm_glass_box_5.shtml?page=11#comment9 8. Lady SueYes, very much so. A certain Baroness was splashed all over the Sunday Times just the other day. Fri 08 May 2009 17:17:25 GMT+1 needsanewnickname http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_pm_glass_box_5.shtml?page=9#comment8 Yes, I heard it; isn't it odd to hear one's comment read out by a.n.other? Fri 08 May 2009 17:16:45 GMT+1 Lady_Sue http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_pm_glass_box_5.shtml?page=8#comment7 Not wanting to put the cat amongst the pigeons... Members of the House of Lords also claim expenses against the cost of their attendance. Is anyone delving there? Fri 08 May 2009 17:14:00 GMT+1 Nigel_N http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_pm_glass_box_5.shtml?page=7#comment6 My local Tescos had run out of Telegraphs by this afternoon. Would any Labour MP care to explain why. Fri 08 May 2009 16:59:39 GMT+1 Lady_Sue http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_pm_glass_box_5.shtml?page=6#comment5 Hilarious! My comment about nude bathing has been read out. The young woman who read it out sounded delightful. I don't think I was ever that young or lovely. Thankyou. Fri 08 May 2009 16:51:06 GMT+1 Jonathan Morse http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_pm_glass_box_5.shtml?page=4#comment4 Here's hoping an MP is arrested by the police in connection with the leaking of the disk of MP's expenses...here's talking to you on Tiscali, justI'm so glad a grownup has taken it over Fri 08 May 2009 16:43:41 GMT+1 Jonathan Morse http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_pm_glass_box_5.shtml?page=3#comment3 when Portillo was commenting on MP's expenses on the 'This Week' politics show on Thursday evenings he said he was pressured by colleagues, when he first joined Parliament, to claim for everything otherwise he would let everybody down. Now he's a Tory and they're rich so for them to do this ...Just shows you were right to push the Tory you were talking to to say whether she was pushed to claim for everything, just wish you'd pushed harder, perhaps as hard as you would have done if she was Labour. Fri 08 May 2009 16:40:07 GMT+1 gallantSocrates http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_pm_glass_box_5.shtml?page=2#comment2 As one of the poorest people in Little Britain - I hope that the Rightwing press will tell the Truth about the economic power of the Shadow Cabinet and all the other possible scams that they may be up too, with their expenses and other jobs...who according to the Guardian recently suggested... may have 17 millionaires in it...Brian V Peck Fri 08 May 2009 16:37:35 GMT+1 Allan http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_pm_glass_box_5.shtml?page=1#comment1 I have always been led to believe that crime does not pay!unless you are a member of parliament Fri 08 May 2009 16:37:17 GMT+1 Lady_Sue http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_pm_glass_box_5.shtml?page=0#comment0 MPs expenses - go for it Eddie. Brilliant all round. Thanks also to darkdesign for the request on the AMGB, which I thoroughly seconded. Fri 08 May 2009 16:19:05 GMT+1