Comments for en-gb 30 Sun 20 Apr 2014 12:21:37 GMT+1 A feed of user comments from the page found at Cossackgirl 34/35 Fearless Fred and Richard _SMYes, dear Barbara F., so far 75k and counting (but perhaps not much longer).FF, I must agree with Richard on the flats (and a lot else): nobody suggests that 2-3 MPs should share one flat. Au contraire, the flat will become a 2-3 bedroom flat for family visits etc.And gated communities springing up everywhere suggest that wealthy people find it makes sense to band together for security rather than pay in separate dwellings. As Richard_SM points out this is a second home. So they will all still have their main constituency residences, where they can observe their neighbours (and listen to their woes at surgeries). Tue 12 May 2009 17:34:45 GMT+1 Richard_SM Ref #34. Fearless Fred I can imagine the cost of security at an Olympic Village for MP's quite easily: secure perimeter, CCTV, eight security guards, two on at any one time = 8 x 25,000pds p.a. = 200,000pds. At least one MP has already submitted expense claim for persanal security at 25,000 p.a. There's probably a few more. Also 200k is easily off set by just 8 MP's accomodation allowances.".... there will be apartments shared by 2 or 3 atheletes each. That's not going to be useful accommodation for MPs." Why not? Give each MP one apartment that previously housed 3 athletes. Sounds very spacious."they would get to see what the people who live next door to them go through." Well they do already and it didn't stop them claiming excessive payments. They've had the "insight" yet they've alternated 'first home' designation in order to maximise expenses and avoid capital gains tax. Being in touch with normality has made no difference.Lets put this into context. MP's serve their constituents. To be in touch, they need to be living amongst their constituents. Of 365 nights a year, they only need to stay in London for about 90 nights a year. The other 275 nights they can spend in their family home.A block of apartments for MP's is ideal. they vcan even save on transport and be more secure. When the House closes late at night, they can be coached back to the village. Much cheaper than them all, 600 plus, independently submitting taxi fares claims to all make their separate ways. Greener too. Using the Olympic Village is much better than this present debacle, more practical and makes excellent use of buildings that would otherwise be surplus. Tue 12 May 2009 10:18:29 GMT+1 Fearless Fred Cossackgirl (32) and Richard (33); Yes, the Olympic village will have security during the Games. But, imagine the cost of providing that security 365 days a year, year on year. That would soon balloon into a drain on the public purse. Remember, most MPs don't require lots of security, as they're relative unknowns. Better to target the security to the major risks. I would hazard a guess that the Olympic Village isn't going to contain houses as you or I would think of them, rather there will be apartments shared by 2 or 3 atheletes each. That's not going to be useful accommodation for MPs. Also, I would suggest that having MPs scattered around in the community would help to "ground" them in normality a bit. After all, they would get to see what the people who live next door to them go through, day after day. Surely that would be a good insight for our lawmakers to have when they frame new legislation... Tue 12 May 2009 05:37:44 GMT+1 Richard_SM Ref # 30. Fearless Fred (ref Cossack Girl proposal)How is them all being in the Olympic village any less secure than them all being in the Palace of Westminster? At PMQ's there's a whole house full, and has been for years. The idea that they are more open to terrorist attack is a red herring. Mon 11 May 2009 21:28:58 GMT+1 Cossackgirl 30. Fearless FredI am a touch alarmed by your quiet, reasonable point re the Olympic Village being an invitation etc etc, seeing how it's just as true for the athletes. Presumably there will be ferocious security in 2012. Why not after?What's cheaper and less risky: guarding MPs on an individual basis or as all eggs in one basket (after all that's what they are in the House)?OK, you are probably right. When one of the British military advisers to the International Brigade in Spain was informed that a column of anti-Franco forces had been ambushed and wiped out in a narrow mountain valley, he was overheard to mutter: "This is what comes out of putting all your Basques in one exit"... Mon 11 May 2009 21:09:36 GMT+1 Cossackgirl Oh, please, do let FF through - I am hanging around, waiting, in case he's got some words of wisdom for me... Mon 11 May 2009 20:39:52 GMT+1 Fearless Fred Cossackgirl(28) Sorry I've been quiet. I've been a bit busy elsewhere recently. I promise to try and comment more often ;-)As for the idea of using the Olympic Village for MPs, I can see how that would be an invitation for terrorist attacks, as they would be sure of the location. If you had the MPs scattered around the limits of the Underground network, you'd probably not know if the person living beside you was an MP. Plus, if they lose their seat, the person coming in would just appear to be another person working in "The Smoke"... Mon 11 May 2009 20:04:25 GMT+1 Chris Ghoti Charlie @ 26, why? It may be easier not to take what you don't need. Mon 11 May 2009 18:55:23 GMT+1 Cossackgirl 22. Fearless FredFirst, I am delighted to see you back - I was beginning to wonder if the mods got you and you are contributing under a different name. Have you been away visiting other blogs?On your point re MP's accommodation: I posted on a different thread the other day that there was a suggestion to use the Olympic Village for this purpose, after the athletes go home. After all those flats would come fully equipped and if the MPs wanted smth different in decor or other stuff, they could buy it out of their own pockets.But I don't know if that is a workable suggestion. Any comment, please? Mon 11 May 2009 18:20:38 GMT+1 Richard_SM 24 Chris_Ghoti 25. Sid Or Barbara FollettOr Alan DuncanBut George Galloway, who comes from a council house, it seems will not be on the list of 'expense abusers.'Whether there's a correlation between wealth and expense abuse remains to be seen. First, we need the expense details out in the open. Mon 11 May 2009 17:38:27 GMT+1 Charlie C_G 24That's an unworthy comment. Mon 11 May 2009 16:30:55 GMT+1 Sid Chris - point taken - but it didn't stop Shaun Woodward. They both had the choice ... Mon 11 May 2009 16:29:55 GMT+1 Chris Ghoti Back when the elder Benn was still being Viscount Stansthingy and was about to dump the title and become an MP in my area, we were aware that he was married to the second richest woman in Europe, so perhaps his son already has enough dosh not to need any more from dodgy expense claims? Mon 11 May 2009 16:25:21 GMT+1 U13879388 Brutish Army atrocities against Kenyans.Well, the Kenyans are trying to sue, but the Brutes say its too long ago.A real defence, eh?Pay up, is my advice.Another Hola Camp horror, I expect. Mon 11 May 2009 15:58:32 GMT+1 Fearless Fred I'd add something to that, fjd. Any second property should be the property of the government, NOT the property of the MP, unless they pay for it out of their salary/other monies. For those unable to afford a second property themselves, a suitable dwelling, owned by HMG, should be supplied rent-free to the MP. This should be commute-able distance away from London. After all, a lot of people in the City in all walks of life work long and unsocial hours. If they can commute, why not MPs? I know some would complain about MPs security. But, apart from a few high profile cases from each party, most of us wouldn't be able to pick an MP out of a line-up. Can you honestly say that you would be able to recognise the MP from two seats over if you passed them on the street? Such properties can be spread around outer London, and be a mix of flats (for the MPs who are single), small houses for couples/those with small children, even up to larger properties (within reason) for those with larger families. HNG can act as the landlord, maintaining the properties to a normal standard, providing certain core utilities such as a reasonable kitchen, white goods, choice of furnishings, Freeview TV (say 28" set) etc. Anything extra, the MP can buy for themselves.As for food, they would need to pay for food wherever they happen to be. Unless they can make an obvious claim, food shouldn't be a part of any allowance system. They already enjoy subsidised catering in the HoP, something most of us can only dream of. Transport costs should be paid to a level commensurate to typical compay re-imbursement schemes. So, in as case of an MP driving their own car, then the going rate is something like 40p/mile. If they choose public transport, then standard class tickets. Mon 11 May 2009 15:41:11 GMT+1 funnyJoedunn Lady sue,Thats George Galloway then.Has anybody looked at Dennis Skinner yet? Mon 11 May 2009 15:40:50 GMT+1 Sid Lady Sue - I think you can add Hilary Benn to your list, and the other Luton MP - Kelvin Hopkins? Mon 11 May 2009 15:39:01 GMT+1 funnyJoedunn Richard_SM (4)Heather Brooke; Couldn't agree more. She does deserve recognition for her work. Mon 11 May 2009 15:37:40 GMT+1 funnyJoedunn On second thoughts, scrap the MPs special tax idea unless they agree to give up second/third/fourth,etc jobs. If they try and use the excuse that they need to have outside interested people in parliament, then they can be executive members on boards of companies etc on a voluntary basis without pay. Better still make voluntary outside interests compulsory, moving a round industry and public services taking different roles at regular intervals. No pay. If they can find the time to do it for money, they can find the time to do it for free in the interests of gaining outside experience. Mon 11 May 2009 15:29:05 GMT+1 Lady_Sue Big Sis: yes, I certainly do and despair more and more about the lot of them the with each further report I hear. If this kind of scandal happened in some remote part of the world, it would look like a Banana Republic. Richard S_M: thanks - that makes one out of how many? Where is the list? Charlie: many thanks. The programme under reference appeared on TV last week and, I thought, it was rather good. Maria lives in Ireland and I'm surprised she's gone as far as China for treatment and can only think this is because stem cell treatments are not yet available here. I know very little about it but have had a look at your informative link, thankyou. Mon 11 May 2009 15:24:12 GMT+1 funnyJoedunn I have heard Dr Liam Fox (Tory) interviewed twice in as many days over MPs expenses. What he in both interviews seemed to show was an understanding of how the ordinary voter feels about it all. That is, until he reached the point where he said, "We have to be careful that we continue to attract the 'right kind' of people to Parliament".In the other interview, after the interviewer confronted him on (among other MPs) George Osbourne's Tennis court repairs on parliamentary expenses said, " we have to be careful that we don't create a parliament where only relative rich people can afford to go".Yeah, really in touch!There will come crafty moves to try and link the expenses and allowances issue to the pay of MPs. They will probably try and get more basic pay for giving up the corruption of the present system. This should not be allowed to happen. We must scrutinise properly any recommendations put forward. This corruption should not be allowed to be used as an excuse for more basic pay. 63,000 per annum is quite a lot On top of reasonable expenses. If anything, perhaps MPs could have their own special favorable tax code on the MPs salary only. Perhaps scrap tax on there MPs pay all together and in return cut down there expenses to something that resembles normality, with full public scrutiny. Mon 11 May 2009 15:15:35 GMT+1 Charlie L_SSepto-Optic Dysplasia. De Morsier SyndromeA rare and complex birth-defect.I'm sure you've done your own research on the subject and hope you've found the site below which is probably only one of dozens to be found. Anyway, the US, "The Magic Foundation" site is helpful and also lists the Medical Personnel/Institutions who've contributed to the content. Impressive. cannot comment on the Chinese treatment as I've not seen any research /clinical evaluation trial papers.Dublin is home to a world class medical centre with Clinicians to match and the UK has several comparable centres.Were I in either of those countries, it would be the advice of those professionals I'd follow. Mon 11 May 2009 14:50:43 GMT+1 U13879388 5Great idea, mittfh, political limerick of the week comp:The posts of TRWSeem writ just to trouble youHis World Ain't Real'Least that's what I feel,With a word count like that, he just muddles you.Only better scansion. And on an interesting topic.Like:How did RBS make 4 billion profit, then, in the first quarter with world interest rates so low, and property prices crashing?Don't tell me! Creative accountancy???Even so, they made a .9billion loss after toxic debt is included.....which was held to be a 'good' result....!!!!...Isn't that ('small loss') figure a sham? Hasn't a lot of the toxic debt been re-financed by the bank lending to itself, using voters' money. of course,(courtesy of the BoE), so that we can expect more bad news from that particular bunch of bankers?Hence the extra 50 billion from Mervyn, late last week?So:RBS is the world's largest bank....Trouble is, I can't think of an appropriate rhyme. Mon 11 May 2009 13:59:59 GMT+1 Richard_SM Ref 9 Lady_Sue I believe George Galloway is 'clean.' He says he has claimed no second home and no travelling expenses. A quick look on the list of MP's expenses seems to confirm this.It shows them in a different light doesn't it. Mon 11 May 2009 13:00:02 GMT+1 Richard_SM Ref : MP's ExpensesThis is appaling. MP's should start addressing those guilty of abuse as "The Dis-Honourable Member." Expenses are just that - not a profit share scheme. Those losing their seat should return to the state all the houses and furniture paid for by the tax-payer.YoursAngry in Tunbridge WellsAngry in CarlisleAngry in MarlowAngry in TruroAngry in NorwichAngry in SwanseaAngry in WorcesterAngry in DundeeAngry in WallaseyAngry in SouthseaAngry in InvernessAngry in DoverAngry in SkegnessAngry in DerbyAngry in CowesAngry in St Albans Mon 11 May 2009 12:54:09 GMT+1 Matterbooboo Eddie - Today... Film director Danny Boyle is to be given Freedom of the Borough in his hometown of Bury. Mon 11 May 2009 12:39:56 GMT+1 Big Sister Lady Sue: I think they are a sorry bunch, don't you?With some exceptions, of course! Mon 11 May 2009 12:26:32 GMT+1 Lady_Sue I don't think saying "sorry" is enough from these MPs. Are any of them going to pay back any of the money they made under the rather dodgy claims? For example, the MP who was claiming for a staying in a flat despite owning a house virtually next door?Is there a list somewhere on the internet the public can access to see what their MPs and others claimed for?Were there any MPs who made only scrupulously honest claims and who have emerged from this fiasco with their integrity intact? Mon 11 May 2009 12:18:15 GMT+1 U13879388 Expenses = Necessary Extra payin the minds of our MPs.Just how much do this lot think they should be paid, then? Mon 11 May 2009 11:20:11 GMT+1 U13879388 Has the dishonesty of MPs affected their political decision making?Is that why they have spent trillions resuscitating the totally dishonest capitalist banking system? Mon 11 May 2009 11:16:16 GMT+1 Richard_SM Is anybody watching the Army? Mon 11 May 2009 11:14:02 GMT+1 mittfh I know I'm too late for your meeting, but please find something to talk about other than politicians exploiting / abusing their expenses / allowances......unless it's an item asking us to summarise the story in the form of a limerick... Mon 11 May 2009 10:51:37 GMT+1 Richard_SM At the end of last week, Joanna Lumley was hailed a hero in much of the media, including PM. It was well deserved. But there were two heroes last week. The other one didn't seem to get much of a mention. Heather Brooke should get credit for tirelessly campaigning, for the last five years to get MP's expenses brought out in the open. She smelled a rat, and found a whole colony. Mon 11 May 2009 10:16:55 GMT+1 Big Sister I would like an item on the Sony Awards - no, not the Brixton Prison radio station, already nicely covered this morning, but the PM award nominations.Will Eddie be there in person tonight? - I think we should be told.:o) Mon 11 May 2009 08:05:24 GMT+1 funnyJoedunn Lady Sue,I just read there has been some (limited) research here in GB on stem cell treatment at Moorfields eye hospital. I suppose that there has been much more work though in China on this. Would I be right in assuming that it probably depends on the condition as to the success of treatment. Also, are some treatments more experimental that others. For instance, I get the impression that some eye treatments with stem cell technology actually treats the spinal cord, rather than the eye directly? Nevertheless, I was mildly impressed, by what I read on success rates. Don't know how invested the interests were of the reports though but, they looked good to me. Mon 11 May 2009 06:13:40 GMT+1 Lady_Sue My son's friend Maria is in China with her baby in order for the little girl to be treated for blindness (Septo Optic Dyspalsisa) a using stem cells.There was a programme last week investigating these treatments, which concluded that it was nearly impossible to successfully treat these conditions in this way. However, having seen the programme, Maria has written to all her friends telling them this is not the case and citing examples of developments and breakthroughs they have experienced with their own baby. They also witnessed improvements in others, including the families interviewed in the programme, which Maria says was merely edited out. What does this treatment involve? Is the hospital in China merely taking advantage of people? Have Maria and many others been subjected to a scam and conned out of 20,000 they struggled to raise for this treatment when they might have had the same improvements in UK/Ireland? Mon 11 May 2009 04:44:48 GMT+1