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Clegg cracks

May 2009

The excitement has been too much for Nick Clegg. The Guardian quotes this manic rant;


"Let us bar the gates of Westminster and stop MPs leaving for their summer holidays until this crisis has been sorted out," 

In which fantasy world does he live? Has he lost touch with reality?Barring the gates? Does he believe we are all holed up, under siege in the Westminster Castle? 

He will annoy his long suffering LibDem MPs who have been bleating for years that the 12 week recess is no 'holiday'. The offices of nearly all MPs are going full blast during the recess. The centre of gravity of the work moves from Westminster to the constituency.

 All serious MPs would prefer briefer recesses. For 12 weeks we are denied the chance of speaking in the Chamber and on committees. That is very frustrating.


Clegg wrong

For the first time ever, I recently had a one to one conversation with Nick Clegg.

It was after question time and I asked him why he is claiming that taxpayers paid for MPs mortgages. Claims are allowed for mortgage interest and running costs of home.  But it does not pay for mortgage costs.

He said rather lamely that this was 'up to experts to work out'. MPs have a choice or renting, buying or staying in hotels. The cost to the taxpayers is about the same. If the flat appreciates, it is the MPs private money that is appreciating. If it depreciates, it's the MPs who loses money. This is outside the world of expenses.

I challenged Nick Clegg to provide one example of an MP being reimbursed for a mortgage payment. It has never happened.

Nick talked about this as the worst scandal. The worst scandal is flipping and MPs doing multiple jobs. What a shame Gordon Brown did not ask David Cameron where his leadership was on the decision to make outside incomes transparent. Cameron abstained.