Comments for http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_am_glass_box_11.shtml http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_am_glass_box_11.shtml en-gb 30 Fri 28 Aug 2015 06:14:52 GMT+1 A feed of user comments from the page found at http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_am_glass_box_11.shtml SentIntheClowns http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_am_glass_box_11.shtml?page=98#comment54 The Week Ahead. My guesswork before it happens.Julie Kirkbride to identify her husband in police line up:Ann Widdicombe to say that MPs should keep their ill gotten gains'The usual lies about the economy. i. Recovery is already upon usProof: a. Some graphs, a sea of numbers, talk of the nth derivative of the output curves, a certain amount of arm waving.(But of course the unemployment is like Topsy) b. Of course the economy will recover at exactly the rate of decline. But in economics, What happened today is the best predictor of what will happen tomorrow, ie. 4.5 per cent falls month by month. c. The market makers are bidding up their own assets in the light of a and ignoring b. ii. Houses are selling again.Proof: Consider all the extra mortgages and mortgage money raised last month by existing owners of firms and houses, raising the wind on bricks and mortar, acreage, building plot land and semi-builds. Then say 'Houses are selling again. Mortgage numbers are up' iii. The banks are now solvent.Proof: Creative international accountancy.All the EXACT opposite of the truth. Mon 18 May 2009 23:15:05 GMT+1 Cossackgirl http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_am_glass_box_11.shtml?page=96#comment53 52. LooterniteYour post was not yet up when I posted for Big Sis.Thank you for the correction: I don't normally have time to blog until much later in the afternoon and was in a tearing rush. As you state, she is indeed Margaret Moran. I did get her name right before, on an earlier thread, when there was much interest in the greedy woman with three houses (Luton, London and Southampton), who unscrupulously flipped her second home from London to Southampton just a short time before picking our pockets to the tune of 22 thousand pounds for dry rot a hundred miles away from her work stations either in London or in Luton.She gave a spirited defence of her actions on Radio 4 (mostly that it is ever so hard to be an MP) and we had a lively discussion on the blog of just how shameless the lady must be and how easily her problem can be corrected for her by the electorate.As I indicated to some friends on this blog in (49) I couldn't care less about this former "celebrity". Isn't it a crying shame then, that our fine MPs, including Margaret Moran, brought this country to the condition where the "celebrity" is taken deadly seriously and interviewed on all networks. I have just seen Ms Rantzen being very voluble at the Speaker's friend on Newsnight. And whose fault is this, then?... Mon 18 May 2009 23:13:47 GMT+1 Cossackgirl http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_am_glass_box_11.shtml?page=94#comment52 51. Big Sister: well said, and there you have it! Mon 18 May 2009 19:55:42 GMT+1 Looternite http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_am_glass_box_11.shtml?page=92#comment51 Sorry, Cossackgirl, but the MP for Luton South is Margaret Moran. I will definately not be voting for a z list celebrity like Esther Rantzen. Ms Moran has done a lot for womens rights in the past and I would expect that she may be resigning when the next election is called. Mon 18 May 2009 19:37:26 GMT+1 Big Sister http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_am_glass_box_11.shtml?page=90#comment50 Cossackgirl: I'd always vote for the person who I think best represents the interests of his/her constituency, as I perceive them.Unfortunately, so do the others who live in my constituency. Mon 18 May 2009 17:42:37 GMT+1 virginiaslim http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_am_glass_box_11.shtml?page=89#comment49 About 25 years ago I moved to London and I didn't know my neighbours. I joined the local Labour Party and got to know plenty of local people from a wide range of backgrounds, occupations and interests. However the real benefit was that I was involved in the process and could influence (a bit) what was going on at the local council and with my MP. But nowadays it seems all people want to do is complain that they don't know their neighbours and they don't trust their politicians. Why don't you knock on your neighbour's door and/or write your MP a letter? If you think your MP is a second-rate, self-serving, money scrounging careerist, then join his or her party and de-select the jerk. Or join another party select a candidate you do like. If you get desperate, stand yourself. Youll get to know plenty of local people and wont be able to complain about the quality of politicians cluttering public office. Virginia Slim Mon 18 May 2009 17:33:51 GMT+1 Cossackgirl http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_am_glass_box_11.shtml?page=87#comment48 26; 28; 32 Horse, Big Sis, fJdThat makes four of us so far and counting. BUT if you lived represented by a woman who flipped her second home to her third home in Southampton to cure dry rot out of YOUR pocket, would you still vote for her, will you vote for your lifelong political opponents to make a point, or for a famous personality even if she sets your teeth on edge. Always assuming they have not yet introduced "None of the Above" by the next General Election.And, Horse (26, 1/), do I detect a tiny backpedalling in progress? The times they are a'changing, no?39, Sid; 45, JimAre these figures not grist to the mill of those who say we do not need so many MPs anyway?Now I am off to the PM Glass Box to say disagreeable things about Speaker Martin... Mon 18 May 2009 17:31:20 GMT+1 Richard_SM http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_am_glass_box_11.shtml?page=85#comment47 Ref 38. invincibleoldandwise I too have witnessed, and dealt with, expense claimants who see it as another form of income. But once the details are known by all, discretion is curtailed severely. I know you didn't intend to imply surgeons were clinically unsound. That's why I wrote comparison to orthopaedic surgeons is not a valid example. MP's 'surgical skills' lie in the areas of being 'honorable' and 'right honorable.' Skills which some appear not to have. They should be suspended from duty, before they do any more harm. And where apparent laws have been broken - prosecuted. Let them explain mitigating circumstances in a court of law. Sentences might be reduced. Mon 18 May 2009 16:48:05 GMT+1 Dr Bee http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_am_glass_box_11.shtml?page=83#comment46 @40 funnyJoeDunn - spot on! I was thinking pretty seriously about this the other day - and I think there are lots of good reasons why MPs should be paid the minimum wage... Put it this way - I would personally view it as a privilege to be able to sit in parliament and have the chance to participate in the decision making process. Imagine that - a chance to take your deeply held moral convictions and contribute to the way that a country is run. On a more prosaic level, MPs might be a little more in touch with how a lot of people live their lives.In my opinion things need to change a lot more than just tackling the expenses scandal. How about a people's parliament? :D Maybe the pollsters could use the same methods that they use to ensure a representative sample of people are polled to select a group of people to represent the country?! (tongue only slightly in cheek :D)Also concur, the Labour party is much more to the right than most supporters would dare to admit - but those voters don't see a decent alternative and are frightened by the other options. As I said before, I do think that a democratic process naturally drifts to the right over time... especially without PR which keeps minority governments in check. See the Political Compass website for more on the drift of parties over the last few decades. Mon 18 May 2009 16:43:18 GMT+1 David_McNickle http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_am_glass_box_11.shtml?page=81#comment45 fJd 41, Look at today's PM Glass Box. Mon 18 May 2009 16:12:38 GMT+1 U13928940 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_am_glass_box_11.shtml?page=80#comment44 Sid (#39) Those figures are frightening. I believe the time may be right for a fundamental shaking up of the political system within this country, providing a clear separation between the Executive and Legislative sections of government, allied with a change in the way that MPs are elected. At the moment, even with the disaffection that large parts of the country feel towards their MPs (whether rightly or wrongly) I doubt that very many of the currently sitting MPs in non-marginal seats are in any danger of losing their seats when an election is called, such is the imbalance in the First Past The Post voting system. It's time to change the system. Mon 18 May 2009 16:04:51 GMT+1 Joe Walker http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_am_glass_box_11.shtml?page=78#comment43 Sid (39)Thanks. I can't help thinking that even now the mainstream media industry is allowing itself to be 'managed' over this despite its smug confidence that it is taking individual MP's to task over their expenses antics.I don't think there will a satisfactory outcome to this because the electorate have been more or less told what they are angry about when in fact the issues have been building for several years with social and political effects which have embedded themselves like poisonous thorns in our social fabric.The matter of expenses will be generally dealt with and perhaps in some piece of antiquated Parliamentary theatre the Speaker will be removed within the next week or two (big deal!), but the fundamental problems will remain and thanks largely to the self-regarding nature of the modern media industry, Parliamentary democracy will remain at great risk. Mon 18 May 2009 15:52:40 GMT+1 Peej02 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_am_glass_box_11.shtml?page=76#comment42 Hmm, wonder what your lead story will be.... I know politicians are past masters at avoiding the question even when they know they're on a loser, but I've just heard a couple trying to defend the Speaker and they were seriously, seriously struggling. I'm looking forward to hearing our Eddie have a go at them. Poor Mr Martin really doesnt get it, does he? He'll be in his Speaker-bunker now moving non-existing tank divisions to head off the enemy. Mon 18 May 2009 15:49:06 GMT+1 SentIntheClowns http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_am_glass_box_11.shtml?page=74#comment41 Yep.The Parliamentary Labour Party is posher than it's voters.It's members are in the middle are in the middle between its voters and its MPs? Mon 18 May 2009 15:45:55 GMT+1 funnyJoedunn http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_am_glass_box_11.shtml?page=72#comment40 Look all, I know its not perfect, nor am I but, I am thinking and writing on the hop. Mon 18 May 2009 15:33:37 GMT+1 funnyJoedunn http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_am_glass_box_11.shtml?page=70#comment39 JW (36)Joseph, I fully concur with your observation.I, not unlike you, feel that (especially after today's debacle in the commons) we should not allow an attempt to treat the symptoms with a sticking plaster. Rather, we should recognise and tackle the cause. In stead of MPs running round like headless chickens looking for something *locally tangible* to blame, they really ought to understand that it is much of our representational (or lack of) politics that is at the root cause. For instance, we often hear that phrase (usually from the Tory side), 'we have to be careful that we attract the right kind of people to parliament'. This is always espoused linked to pay and conditions. I suggest what they really mean is, we have to pay enough and allow enough outside money making to attract the same kind of middle class people we want taking power. It is myths like this put across as virtues that need to be exposed for what they are. Labour and the libs instead of standing up to the plate, have connived in such deception through greed and the expenses/allowances system. In fact I suggest, the parliamentary labour party Isn't the Labour party most people on the constituency ground think they are. They are something much more to the right of normal labour members. relying on the allegiance of your core vote simply because they have no other choice, is often how they have operated. I suspect this of all parties. Mon 18 May 2009 15:30:23 GMT+1 Sindy http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_am_glass_box_11.shtml?page=69#comment38 Joseph Walker ... here is rather a long quote from Henry Porter (last Sunday's Observer) - which I think backs up what you say:"At the heart of the story is the supremacy of the executive and the lassitude of Parliament. As Frank Field pointed out in an article on Comment is Free: "Week after week, MPs have been turning up but with almost no serious work to do. There is the odd bill to be sure. But there is no legislative programme to speak of. Even the debates that are put on to fill in time are those that deny MPs a vote. The whole exercise is vacuous.""The facts bear out his sketch. In the current session, Parliament will spend 143 days in recess. MPs took 24 days holiday at Christmas, 10 days in February, 17 at Easter and now they have the prospect of 10 days at Whitsun plus a summer break of 82 days. Not bad for basic pay and allowances of £180,000 a year.Set against this is the time allowed by the insufferable leader of the house, Harriet Harman, for the debate of yet another criminal justice bill - the Policing and Crime Bill 2008-09. The Lib Dem MP Evan Harris pointed out at the Manifesto Club last week that the bill has been given just six-and-a-half hours for debate ... a lot of difficult issues to cram into just six-and-a-half hours when there are literally months to spare. What this tells us is that Harriet Harman is hostile to proper scrutiny and that in reality Parliament no longer matters. The government goes through the motions of debate but essentially acts by decree: the house rarely sits after Thursday afternoon; all-night debates are a thing of the past; and secondary legislation, largely un-debated and unscrutinised, has doubled in the past 20 years. It is a wonder that MPs have not risen up to reclaim Parliament and tell the whips to get lost, but so many are trapped by the system of patronage and the ambition to be part of a largely pointless government cohort they stay silent." Mon 18 May 2009 15:23:40 GMT+1 invincibleoldandwise http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_am_glass_box_11.shtml?page=67#comment37 R_SM @ 22 and 29My local newspaper has certainly done vox pops which reveal that people think fraud leads inevitably to prison. Same views expressed on phone ins. My point was I've seen the practical problems of trying to extirpate expenses fraud. My hypothetical example about the surgeons was not meant to imply they were clinically unsound. Just the opposite, in fact. How would an NHS Trust deal with skilled, highly productive surgeons who also just happened to cheat on their expenses? I bet I know! Mon 18 May 2009 15:23:29 GMT+1 SentIntheClowns http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_am_glass_box_11.shtml?page=65#comment36 funnyJoedunn, you're a very funny chap.And wise and knowledgeable.I would like to ask you, do you understand working class Tory support? (If so please tell)Is it purely nationalism?When working class as opposed to wealthy MPs bend the expenses rules, is it less unjustified? If so, why?(I get the impression working class MPs are saying that. (They would, wouldn't they). Do they have a case?)Is the the Speaker being attacked, in some part, because of his working class background? If so, to what degree? Mon 18 May 2009 15:02:22 GMT+1 Joe Walker http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_am_glass_box_11.shtml?page=63#comment35 I mentioned this on Friday, but can we hear more on the general reputation of Parliament as an increasingly unrepresentational and unresponsive body?Isn't it possible that this expenses scandal is just a development of this and isn't it also possible that too much focus on this element of Parliamentary democratic failure draws attention from the overall picture? Can we not also draw into the debate other Parliamentary failures of recent years including Iraq; 42 days detention and other security legislation; and even the collapse of the financial system?I find it difficult to believe that there aren't many people who feel that the expenses scandal is simply the latest in a long line of events that are indicative of a democratic process that requires substantial reform.Please can we have something on this? Mon 18 May 2009 15:01:55 GMT+1 funnyJoedunn http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_am_glass_box_11.shtml?page=61#comment34 I came into this world with nothin' never had anythin' while I was here, will leave with zilch. It was a Shi Tzu. Mon 18 May 2009 14:25:40 GMT+1 funnyJoedunn http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_am_glass_box_11.shtml?page=59#comment33 Dr Bee (5)Thanks for the vote of confidence. Do you think if I decided to stand in an election I'd have to tell people "you can't vote for me". "why" they'd say, because I'm one of the above. Mon 18 May 2009 14:19:16 GMT+1 SentIntheClowns http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_am_glass_box_11.shtml?page=58#comment32 Shock horror, Leader of Opposition calls for General Election. Mon 18 May 2009 14:16:01 GMT+1 funnyJoedunn http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_am_glass_box_11.shtml?page=56#comment31 Horse (26)Your not the only one. I can't stand her either. Mon 18 May 2009 14:14:04 GMT+1 pickled_anything http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_am_glass_box_11.shtml?page=54#comment30 Swine Flu and the BNP:Today I received the government Swine Flu Information booklet. It was posted through my letterbox (in Coventry) inside a 'Melbicks Garden and Leisure' pamphlet alongside (well actually underneath) a BNP leaflet. Also included in the swathe were a UKIP leaflet, and adverts for TalkTalk and Directline. This is both an insane and offensive way of delivering what is supposedly important health information. After all lots of people will automatically throw away what looks like a pack of adverts. Whilst those that do look through it will have to see racist and xenophobic information before getting to 'important information'.Please ask the Minister for Health what led him to believe that delivering the information in this way makes any sense at all. Mon 18 May 2009 14:13:40 GMT+1 funnyJoedunn http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_am_glass_box_11.shtml?page=52#comment29 TIH (8)Yes horse, its all cobblers but, your right! Mon 18 May 2009 14:06:17 GMT+1 Richard_SM http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_am_glass_box_11.shtml?page=50#comment28 Ref 2. invincibleoldandwise Further thought: If a surgeon's skills are found to be lacking, nobody wants to go under his knife. If an MP, whose job involves: morals; justice; serving on scrutiny committees; specifying punishments; but whose own standards are corrupt, nobody wants to be subject to his laws nor subject to his judgement.Who is going to sit on the Public Accounts Committees from now on? Who is going to sit on Select Committees in judgement of others? Who is going to be on the committee scrutinising Civil Servant Heads for their control over expenditure? Mon 18 May 2009 13:39:33 GMT+1 Big Sister http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_am_glass_box_11.shtml?page=49#comment27 Horse - Make that 2 for your 2. Mon 18 May 2009 13:38:31 GMT+1 Charlie http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_am_glass_box_11.shtml?page=47#comment26 C_G 14You're quite right. Brian Burnie who annasee @ 6 referred to, is quite brilliant and totally selfless and this, his latest act of charitable generosity, will finance one of the most desperate health related needs in his part of the UK in "perpetuity". Mr Burnie's quoted as saying:"My ambition is to die penniless. We come into this world with nothing and we should leave with nothing." (Brian Burnie)Andrew Carnegie who was then, the world's richest man (entirely self-made as is Mr Burnie) stated a man should spend the first part of his life making wealth and the second, giving the wealth away. Which he did saying:"To Die Rich is to Die Disgraced.""I would as soon leave my son a curse as the almighty dollar." Mon 18 May 2009 13:37:48 GMT+1 U12196018 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_am_glass_box_11.shtml?page=45#comment25 Cossackgirl (25) Answering in reverse order:3/ Nobody can be sure, but I'd still tell you to keep your money in your pocket.2/ One person's national treasure is another person's (. . insert your own words here). I'm probably in a minority of one, but I can't stand Esther Rantzen. 1/ I would very much doubt if they will stand aside - they certainly won't commit to it at this point. They are quite likely to have some similar constituencies themselves. Mon 18 May 2009 13:36:02 GMT+1 Cossackgirl http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_am_glass_box_11.shtml?page=43#comment24 In great hurry and will reemerge on the PM Glass Box after six, me!I have just heard that the national treasure Esther Rantzen is standing as an independent anti-sleaze MP (a la Martin Bell) against Margaret Morrel (her of dry rot in Southampton) in Luton South!This opens up a number of questions. 1/The Luton South Labour Party have just announced they are keeping Ms Morel for the next election. Will the Tories and Libs step aside (as Labs and Libs did for Martin Bell) or will they rely on the scandal to be sufficient to unseat her in their favour?2/Perhaps many other national treasures can and will be persuaded in the interim to challenge as Independents against the sleazers who are not deselected? Parliament of the people by the people!3/ 8 -Horse. You are spot on re Capital Gains. You are also the one who told me to keep my money when I thought of betting on an October General Election - are you still just as sure?!Back after six. Love to all. Mon 18 May 2009 13:07:07 GMT+1 U12196018 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_am_glass_box_11.shtml?page=41#comment23 JotheEditrice (17) - Neigh, neigh and thrice neigh! Mon 18 May 2009 13:02:25 GMT+1 Chris Ghoti http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_am_glass_box_11.shtml?page=40#comment22 I remember what I wanted to ask. Lots of questions about the swine flu business.How many cases in this country *at present*?How many in this country overall so far?Comparison between swine flu and ordinary flu?Overall number of deaths so far, worldwide?Number of deaths certainly due to this flu, outside Mexico?Number of verified cases worldwide?Cost of the leaflets warning us all to treat it as flu?Come on, it's not *that* old a story. Mon 18 May 2009 13:00:59 GMT+1 Richard_SM http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_am_glass_box_11.shtml?page=38#comment21 Ref 2. invincibleoldandwise Who is expecting them to be automatically thrown into jail? I haven't read of any such assumptions. I don't believe your comparison is valid. Consider several senior police officers found fiddling expense claims involving thousands of pounds. Once that information becomes public, all eyes are on the Chief Constable, from subordinates to the public, to see how he deals with the matter. The same with a large company. Once the details of fiddling senior managers are known throughout an organisation, the MD knows full well every trusted member of staff is watching to see what precedent the MD is going to set. Everyone can recall the instant dismissal of a clerk caught fiddling 100 pounds from petty cash, or similar.The MP's caught making downright bogus claims are not "crucial to [the] organisation." Indeed the opposite. They are the rotten apples that need removing - and quickly. However, like your surgeons example, where there is strong evidence they are unable to do their job properly, they should be suspended from duty, pending full investigation. Irrespective of party, some of these MP's should be suspended immediately. Garden leave. The system needs a shock. Some MP's playing it down in the media this weekend still don't get it!What PM programme might research, although premature at this stage, are sentences handed out for: benefit fraud involving tens of thousands of pounds; the clerks caught fiddling petty cash in excess of 10,000pds ; the dodgy car dealer repeatedly charging VAT and putting it in his own pocket. Mon 18 May 2009 12:50:41 GMT+1 Chris Ghoti http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_am_glass_box_11.shtml?page=36#comment20 @16, "MPs pass another motion during sitting"Would you like to rephrase that? Mon 18 May 2009 12:48:35 GMT+1 Charlie http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_am_glass_box_11.shtml?page=34#comment19 Joker 18Clearly you enjoyed a good weekend. So, no apologies required. "Wasted" it is... Mon 18 May 2009 12:45:22 GMT+1 Lady_Sue http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_am_glass_box_11.shtml?page=32#comment18 Very witty Jo! Time to hand back the keys to the drinks cabinet? Mon 18 May 2009 12:36:53 GMT+1 Joker http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_am_glass_box_11.shtml?page=30#comment17 Oh dear I obviously meant I am wasted in my current job, I tell you. Not that I am wasted... Mon 18 May 2009 12:25:32 GMT+1 Joker http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_am_glass_box_11.shtml?page=29#comment16 Intermittent horse is correct (8). If he were an MP, he would be called intermittent house. I'm in the job I tell you, wasted.Jo Mon 18 May 2009 12:24:34 GMT+1 U13967637 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_am_glass_box_11.shtml?page=27#comment15 MPs pass another motion during sitting:We, the undersigned MPs, call for the resignation of the Speaker, because he tried to cover up OUR dishonest construction and use of OUR expenses system.This will allow him to return immediately to the back benches to return to his career as an MP on MP's expenses.. Mon 18 May 2009 11:25:58 GMT+1 David_McNickle http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_am_glass_box_11.shtml?page=25#comment14 C_G 14, We had a Carnegie library in St Albans. It is now a pub....of sorts. One of those Oirish 'pubs' beginning with O. Mon 18 May 2009 10:17:06 GMT+1 Chris Ghoti http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_am_glass_box_11.shtml?page=23#comment13 Didn't Andrew Carnegie do much the same thing: give away all his money and leave almost nothing to his children? Mon 18 May 2009 09:56:01 GMT+1 Looternite http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_am_glass_box_11.shtml?page=21#comment12 The Eurovision song contest was once again a total farce. Am I the only one to have noticed that the winner actually plays a fiddle. It is time that Ofcom (or whoever it was that dished out the fines earlier) investigated this con. It is totally un-democratic, it has countries voting for friends, countries not voting for old adversaries. In a nutshell the voting is biased and racist. The Scandinavians all pile their high points on to fellow Scandinavians, ex soviet nations vote for each other and the big countries like France, Germany and GB are descriminated against. Countries with total populations smaller than a French, German or British city have the same votes as the big countries this is not fair. It is well past its sell by date and the BBC can save a lot of money by pulling out of this farce. Mon 18 May 2009 09:53:53 GMT+1 Lady_Sue http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_am_glass_box_11.shtml?page=20#comment11 annasee: what a fabulous chap. Thanks Sid/Charlie for the link. A breath of fresh air story after a pretty foul week. Mon 18 May 2009 09:50:41 GMT+1 Lady_Sue http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_am_glass_box_11.shtml?page=18#comment10 TIHorse: that explains it. I knew there was a fiddle going on somewhere. I believe they were able to claim back their Council Tax - this presumably from their 'second' home (or third, fourth, fifth, as the case may be). Thank you for clarifying. Mon 18 May 2009 09:47:39 GMT+1 Charlie http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_am_glass_box_11.shtml?page=16#comment9 annasee 6Here's a link:http://preview.tinyurl.com/pt3zs9 Mon 18 May 2009 09:18:32 GMT+1 skintnick http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_am_glass_box_11.shtml?page=14#comment8 Perhaps a piece about political lobbyists in view of recent suspensions in the House of Lords? Of course big business is the main beneficiary of these shenanigans. For example, the transport lobby and Richard Douthwaite's observation that "we can say with certainty that transport subsidies are huge and that if they were removed, local manufacturers would be far better placed to compete in their local markets with bigger firms elsewhere and goods would tend to be moved by lower-energy, less environmentally damaging forms of transport". That'd be nice. Mon 18 May 2009 09:17:19 GMT+1 U12196018 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_am_glass_box_11.shtml?page=12#comment7 Lady Sue - No doubt someone will correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure that MPs have to pay both Capital Gains and Council Taxes.But Capital Gains is not payable on your MAIN residence, so if the timing of the designation of MAIN and SECOND homes is managed properly, it is possible to avid the tax. Not actually illegal, but getting pretty near 'evasion' rather than 'avoidance' in my opinion.Council Tax is fullly payable on the MAIN residence and I think payable at a reduced rate on any other residence. I think MPs are allowed to reclaim the second residence cCouncil Tax as a necessary expense.I hope someone will tell me if that is all cobblers. Mon 18 May 2009 09:07:24 GMT+1 Sindy http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_am_glass_box_11.shtml?page=10#comment6 annasee - yes, it was Brian:http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/tyne/8049729.stm Mon 18 May 2009 09:04:15 GMT+1 annasee http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_am_glass_box_11.shtml?page=9#comment5 I heard an incredible item on the World Service a couple of nights ago about a man who owns a hotel in the north-east worth 24 million. He's about to sell it and give the money to cancer charities, in gratitude for his wife's recovery from breast cancer a few years ago. His stated ambition is to die penniless, leaving nothing to his 3 children, as they all have good jobs and are making their own way in the world.It just struck such a chord with me, in the light of the MP's whose aim seems to have been "take as much as you can get". Maybe you would like to feature his story as a contrast! I'm sorry that as it was in the early hours and I was dozing, I have now forgotten every single relevant detail such as names. He might have been called Brian. Or not... I'm sure someone cleverer than me could find the story again though. Mon 18 May 2009 08:56:39 GMT+1 Dr Bee http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_am_glass_box_11.shtml?page=7#comment4 Could I suggest a follow up on the 'None of the above' suggestion from funnyJoeDunn - as you probably saw, yesterdays blog item generated quite a lot of debate - with similar discussions on The Independent site... there is now a petition live on the Downing Street website. I think this is a great example of how your blog can generate real debate and feedback and the potential for change.Lady_Sue @3 wow - very interesting... y Mon 18 May 2009 08:46:42 GMT+1 skintnick http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_am_glass_box_11.shtml?page=5#comment3 Global Warming: The elephant in the room which grows just a tiny bit every day.There IS stuff we can do. Can we be bothered? Do we really care about our children as much as we like to believe? Mon 18 May 2009 08:37:05 GMT+1 Lady_Sue http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_am_glass_box_11.shtml?page=3#comment2 If PM are quizzing any MPs or anyone associated with the expenses claims scandal, could we have some clarification on the 42,000 UK Sterling they are given if they lose their seat in the next election? Is this right? Are there any other occupations where, if you do a bad job and fail to impress your "employers" enough to continue on with it, you would receive 42,000 to help you out when you got "sacked"?Why don't MPs pay Capital Gains Tax? Why don't MPs pay Council Tax? Doesn't this smack of one rule for them and one rule for everybody else? It seems particularly irksome when they are making the rules.Are they all turning on the Speaker merely as a way of deflecting attention away from their own misdemeanors? Mon 18 May 2009 08:28:16 GMT+1 invincibleoldandwise http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_am_glass_box_11.shtml?page=1#comment1 I've been surprised how many people assume that staff who make downright bogus (as opposed to dubious) expenses claims are automatically "thrown into jail for fraud". In my experience, that rarely happens. It's simply a matter of organisational pragmatism. If the staff making the bogus claims are crucial to your organisation, you can't afford to sack them. For example, an NHS Trust that discovers half its orthopaedic surgeons have been making false expenses claims is hardly likely to sack them. Recovery of the money and a slap over the wrist may be the best that you can achieve. Perhaps PM could investigate current HR responses to bogus expenses claims in a variety of organisations? Mon 18 May 2009 08:03:17 GMT+1 dennisjunior1 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2009/05/the_am_glass_box_11.shtml?page=0#comment0 Good Day, Eddie and everyone @ BBC Radio 4....Eurovision---Another excellent show and a winner, Congrats to the Norwegian....~Dennis Junior~:) Mon 18 May 2009 05:41:40 GMT+1