Misleading The Public Again, Bob…

THOSE LISTENING TO BOB SPINK, our local MP, on Gateway FM yesterday, would have taken his self aggrandisement over the MPs’ expenses issue as evidence that he was against taxpayers funding MPs’ property speculation and lavish lifestyles.

‘I’ve been fighting for more transparency and to actually scrap all the allowances altogether, to stop MPs having second jobs, to make sure that the House Of Commons (not the MPs themselves) is the employer of all the staff so that there’s clarity there as well,’ he said.

But that is not the case.

In his ‘interview’ he gives the impression that he has been pursuing this issue, on the public’s behalf, for years.

‘I’ve been fighting for these things for a number of years on the record, laying down early day motions with no local MPs, and certainly not the Labour or Conservative Party, having supported my motions when I have been putting them down in 2007, 2008, 2009,’ he said.

But that is not the case.

David Drew, of the Labour party, signed his Early Day Motion (EDM) No.819 of 23 Feb 2009; but it is true that the only other signatory, to this and his previous EDM 838 of 1 Jan 2008 (which amounted to the same proposal) was another Independent; Dai Davies.

Bob did not lay down an Early Day Motion on this subject in 2007; but it is interesting to examine the other two, to see why they received so little support. Bob would have us believe it was because MPs wished to retain the status quo and continue fiddling their expenses. But that is not the case at all.

Here is the text of his first EDM on the subject:-

That this House should undertake root and branch modernisation of the way hon. Members organise, staff and pay for their offices and how they are remunerated for carrying out their various duties; believes that hon. Members should get no expenses at all, excepting essential job travel at cost; further believes that hon. Members are paid for a full-time job and should be prevented from having substantial additional employment but should be paid an appropriate salary to fund approved working practices, including keeping accommodation in London where necessary; further believes that hon. Members in the future should have no say whatsoever on the level of their own salaries, that staffing, communications and office costs should be met entirely and directly by the Fees Office which should be the employer of all hon. Members’ staff, and that, in consultation with hon. Members, the Fees Office must be allowed to employ the best person for the job, and must only employ people who are appropriately qualified; further believes that it would deliver greater visibility and accessibility for the public, for there to be a single register rather than the separate Parliamentary and Electoral Commission registers; and further believes that this overarching modernisation should be considered as soon as possible, so the House can get on with its job of defending the country and democracy and assisting people who need help.

And here is the second:-

That this House notes that public trust in political parties and in Parliament remains at an historically low level notwithstanding recent changes to make hon. Member’s expenses more transparent; believes these changes fall short of the root and branch modernisation of the way hon. Members are remunerated, organise staff and pay for their essential work and offices; further believes that hon. Members should get no expenses at all, excepting essential job travel at cost; further believes that hon. Members are paid to do a full-time job and should not have substantial additional paid employment, but should be paid an appropriate salary to fund their essential work as a Member of Parliament, including keeping accommodation in London where necessary; further believes that hon. Members should not decide or vote on their own terms and conditions of employment; further notes that it is inappropriate for hon. Members to maintain 646 separate small businesses in the House; further believes that staff, communications and office costs should be met directly by the Department of Resources, which should be the formal employer of all hon. Members’ staff, and that, in consultation with each hon. Member, the Department of Resources must engage only a person who is qualified for the job; and further believes that this over-arching modernisation should be implemented as soon as possible so the House can get on with its job of holding the Executive to account, defending the country and democracy, and assisting people who need help.

You see, Bob is not just proposing the abolition of expenses. He is proposing a huge increase in MPs basic salary to accommodate all the slight of hand and outright fiddling that has been going on. He still wants to receive the same amount in his pocket. He just does not want to do the paperwork that has caught him, and other MPs, in the act.

There is no appetite, from the 65% of honest MPs, for their salaries to be increased. And the crooked 35% would sooner retain the current system than go public and back Bob Spink’s proposal.

Like most things Spink, the story is in what he chooses not to say — not what he would have you believe…

… (12/12/2009) – Bob And Other MPs Exploit Loophole To Claim Thousands Without Receipts

… (leftoutside, 29/12/2009) – Abolish EDMs! Abolish Bob Spink!

… (24/02/2010) – Gateway FM Wins Five Year Community Licence for Basildon and East Thurrock

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2 Responses

  1. I actually missed the Gateway FM broadcast but caught up listening to their recorded version.

    The man is on another planet completely.

    Did you hear about what he had to say on the financial sector? Asked by the questioner what he had done to support British manufacturing that was a plank of his election campaign, Spink ignored the question by saying that the overwhelming majority of his constituents work in the City. I was gobsmacked. Then he went onto suggest that manufacturing had no future but, no worries, Britain could easily survive on its financial sector.

    He obviously isn’t aware of government bailouts, redundancies, youth and adult unemployment or any other matter that the incompetent bankers have brought about.

    I hope Gateway FM leaves that broadcast on their site so thaat anyone who missed it can hear it. Pity it wasn’t an experienced interviewer asking the questions – but I guess then that Bob would not have appeared……………..

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