Tuesday 5 May 2009

How some MPs live

I've been out delivering leaflets in the past week or two, and have been mulling over a comment one of my constituents made. It's been bothering me.

I'd put a leaflet through a door, and moved on to the next house in the street. A guy came out of the house, scrunched up the leaflet and, for dramatic effect, put it in the bin.

He said "when youse live like us, then you can come back and speak to us".

I didn't take the bait to go back and argue with him, because he clearly hadn't bothered to read the leaflet. The front of the leaflet was an update from John Mason. The back was a wee bit from me. John's side features a FAQ section, letting people know some details of his life as an MP. It mentions his home address, a flat in Sandaig Road Barlanark. Pretty modest. Certainly not a £350,000 house on the south side.

John gives an honest account of what Westminster requires of him - four days in London, three in Glasgow. I know this is odd to him, being so used to daily life in his ward. He's doing his utmost to be there for his constituents despite this, employing staff in the constituency, opening a highly visible shop on Shettleston Road, holding regular surgeries, visiting local groups. When Parliament's in recess, he's out leafleting and getting seen around the constituency. He works incredibly hard.

It upsets me that people think all politicians are the same, that we all have our noses in the trough. It's clear that the continual expenses scandals from London don't help combat this. It's a real shame that the badly behaved few manage to smear the rest of the hard working public representatives in this country.

I'm sure I've probably said it on here before, but I favour a move to the Scottish Parliament's open, accountable system, where all expenses are available for everyone to see. The Council isn't open enough either, and I'd like that to change. The register of interests isn't enough. Something like this would be a start.

PS - I realised I mentioned John's home but not mine - for info, I live in a flat on Roebank Street, between Ally Parade and the M8. It's small, comfy, and conveniently placed.


Ms. Curran said...

Both yourself and Mr Mason can expect a flaming bag of doggy doo-doo to arrive on your doorsteps within 2-3 days.

Anonymous said...

Do be sure to have Royal Mail charge them £1.30 for the privilege Ms Curran.

Alan W said...

So why didn't Mr Mason speak out against the few who smear the others? Didn't want to rock the boat perhaps?

BellgroveBelle said...

Thanks for your comment Alan. I think you're judging him without actually knowing anything about him. From looking at your website, it seems you lump all MPs in together. Check out John's website (www.johnmasonmp.org), or do some googling.

John was an opposition Councillor in Glasgow for ten years before winning the by election in Glasgow East last year. It's hardly a position that lends itself to deference towards the powers that be!

Alan W said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alan W said...

I see Mr Mason spoke out in general terms. Kudos to him. Will he be speaking out against Alex Salmond claiming £400 a month for food when Westminster wasn't actually sitting?

Muzz said...

Another example of how out of touch the political class have become. No hint of apology, no contrition,but a hissy fit of we are not all like that(The SNP were at it as well), not a hint of contrition, and complete disregard for the justifiable outrage at the conduct of your colleagues.

It's the public fault we have no confidence in any of you, aye right !!!!

Honourable Members?, don't make laugh....

joe90 kane said...

Hissy fits indeed.

Osama Saeed of the SNP complained about the fact Westminster MPs were awarding themselves c.£10k each for running their individual websites. Osama pointed out that MPs could use perfectly simple and cheap website software, such BellgroveBelle herself uses (to tell her constituents what she is up to and doing on their behalf) -
£10,000Osama Saeed
30 Mar 2007

SNP MP Angus MacNeil has been asking for reforms on how Westminster votes in order to make it possible for him to vote from home in Barraidh, using electronic communication, in order to save on time, expenses pollution etc -
Electronic Voting in the HouseEarly Day Motion EDM 1158
Angus MacNeil MP
UK Parliament
23 Mar 2009

And -
Electronic abling of MotionsEarly Day Motion EDM 1157
23 Mar 2009

The SNP have been trying to save taxpayers money, but it seems that whenever the Brit Benefit Thieves get caught with their hand in the till, then everybody gets the blame and not just them.

The SNP doesn't want billions wasted on committing British war crimes abroad.

The SNP doesn't want c.£80 billion wasted on a replacement for the utterly useless Trident nuclear deterrent (which never deterred Sadam or the Neo-Nazi junta of Argentina from invading the Malvinas - both incedently were former friends of the British establishment and ended up costing the taxpayer).

Who commissioned the Scottish Parliment building in Edinburgh - the SNP or the London subsidy junky establshhment?

PFI anyone?

How about Thatcherite/New Labour neo-liberalism (which has just recently collapsed making us all even more in debt than these 'reforms' had already accomplished)?

etc etc etc

The fact that BellgroveBelle's blog is proof of accountability and involvement with her constituents seems to pass others by - they can't see the woods for the trees.

all the best BB!

BellgroveBelle said...

Thanks joe90 - good links!

Muzz - I don't think I personally have anything to be contrite for. If you have something you'd like me to apologise for, please let me know. I'm not here to answer for any other politician, but I do object to being lumped in with morally corrupt MPs in Westminster.

joe90 kane said...

Targeting Westminster Benefit Thieves, NotDWP

Corruption such as the Westminster Benefit Thieves have been indulging in and for which none seem to be under police investigation, is something the Western Establishment always frowns on, no matter the source.

Corruption means that others are at a disadvantage in buisness dealings and such like and, therefore, powerful interests naturally don't want to be put at an unfair advantages with regards to their rivals.

However, there are no charges of corruption when all the British Establishment indulges in it at the public expense, such as -
- PFI,
- British war crimes abroad,
neo-liberal stealing of public assets at rock-bottom prices,
- hundreds of billions of pounds of taxpayers money handed over to failed bankers and shareholders,
- etrident replacment,
- nuclear power,
etc etc

Where are people like Muzz when brilliant (and cheap) public institutions and our brilliant public workforce are being attacked and destroyed - especially when the government seems to have hundreds of billions in order to bail out failed free-market institutions, the very ones who have been adamant that the free-market works and knows best!

Profits for British merchants of Death, subsidised by the taxpayer who get all the costs and none of the profits, ever -
New batch of fighter jets for RAF
BBC News
14 May 2009

I feel safer and richer already, not.

Sorry for going on.

I wish my local councillor kept a wee blog like this.

all the best BB!

I got a BNP European Election leaflet through the door this morning (I'm in sunny North Lanarkshire) - I wish I'd managed to confront the racist scumbag, god forgive me - at least that is something worth confronting someone about, anywhere, anytime.

joe90 kane said...

I'm just wondering where the champion of the taxpayer is - he seems to have come over all silent.

It's ok to attack defenceless working class teenagers, their new-born babies and their very happy grandads, that's easy - but Tom Harris seems to have come over all coy when it comes to holding more powerful interests to account for their seeming expensive lifestyles subsidised by the taxpayer.

Indeed, Tom Harris's expenses might make interesting reading given his track record of.

Just to refresh people's memory especially Tom Harris's, although it wasn't that long ago -
If you're a teenage mum, who can you ask for help?Bellgrove Belle
06 Mar 2009

You don't hear the Tom Harris's of this world ever fuming when a new member of the British royal family is born, whom the taxpayer will have to fork out millions in order to subsidise it for the rest of its life. Indeed, its a cause for celebration for his likes.

Targeting Westminster Benefit Thieves and Hypocrites - We're Closing InDWP
Dept for Workhouses for the Poor

apologies for the formatting, as the blogger software doesn't seem to recognise the line-endings after my hyperlinks