Now, my friend Willy knows just how to rile me. He's an expert at riling people. It comes with having spent a lifetime in the legal trade. Normally it takes a lot to stir my hackles or disturb my composure, but Willy managed it today. He called because he needed to use my computer, and casually dropped on my desk a copy of a promotional leaflet he'd received in the post from our Liberal Democrat MP today. I'll probably get mine on Monday. It was very polished. I knew it had been produced professionally, because the usual grammatical and spelling mistakes were missing. See - you can tell my hackles are rising again as I type out these words. "Its very good he said". "And you bl***y well paid for it" I responded with undisguised fury. "Look at the bottom - it'll say its been paid for from his 'Communications Allowance'. This is the most reprehensible allowance that has ever been available to politicians in Britain. 'Communication' my backside. Its straight forward use of taxpayer's money for the personal 'political' promotion of incumbent MPs. In my opinion its worse than any of the inventive ways that have been found to make the 'second home allowance' fit the rules, or anything ever bought from the John Lewis list. This allowance disfigures and pollutes our democratic system as well as wastes taxpayer's money. There's no way I could ever use such an allowance. It should be banned.
Now this is not in any way a criticism of my MP. Its entirely within the rules. MPs of all parties, including my own use it. Its all completely above board and above reproach, because its what this despicable allowance was created to do. Its purpose is to produce lovely glossy, professionally designed 'brochures' explaining what a fabulous job every sitting MP is doing - all at the public's expense. Why doesn't Guido Fawkes lead a campaign against it? I need to go and lie down for a while to recover.