Friday, April 17, 2009

The most despicable allowance of all.

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.


Catriona Brennan said...

Can I just get this straight Glyn?

You will make a pledge, right here, right now that if elected the next MP for Montgomeryshire, you will not claim a penny Communication Allowance?

Can you clarify this please, as its very important if you are knocking it now as an aspirant.

I need to know categorically that you will not claim it.

Anonymous said...

I hear the Lib Dems in Montgomeryshire are running very scared indeed and said sitting memeber is drinking in the last chance saloon - an apt phrase for O'Pickled methinks! He's been told he has to be in the constituency more often and try and regain credibility here.
Whilst totally right on this topic, your tactics should be simple - in your brochure, just reprint the utter dross this so called MP writes in his weekly column for the porno rag that is the Daily Sport

DC current said...

Glyn> it's moments like these we get to know our true nature. You're a fighter and want to fight for what's right - for the nation and the people of Montgomeryshire.

I suspect that if you get fired up on issues that weigh on the minds of the good people of Montgomeryshire this will place you in good stead during the run up to the election.

As the election approaches people are going to look towards you Glyn and vote for you. Might sound corny, but "I feel it in my waters".

Anything that I can do to help - let me know.

Glyn Davies said...

Catriona - Yes and nothing new there. Not only would I not touch the vile allowance, but I sall continue to campaign for its abolition.

Daran said...

"Not only would I not touch the vile allowance, but I shall (sic)continue to campaign for its abolition."

Bold statement here Glyn. Does this reflect the broader view of the party?

For what it's worth, I agree with you. I have some serious reservations on the impact of this allowance on the democratic process. This isn't a party political point - as it stands Lembit is totally entitled to spend it of course - but a broader one aimed at the whole communication allowance structure.

Glyn Davies said...

Daran - I too did not place any blame on my MP. I'm not sure about party policy, but I think its our policy to abolish it.

I also think that candidates will have to make cast iron commitments before the next election - on how they will use all of their allowances. I have said before that I will not touch the Communications Allowance, and that I will publish all of my expenses, irrespective of what the rules say. I also think candidates should make clear how they might use any second home allowance. The public have had just about enough. Rules will not deal with the issue on their own. MPs have to deal with the matter on a personal level, and not vote for those who rip off the system.

Anonymous said...

"Lembit's job at Westminster is to raise issues that matter to local people and keep an eye on the work of the Government" (in his leaflet)

We taxpayers seem to be paying a fair salary and some chunky expenses for that!

At least with the Tories or Labour we're paying for someone who could be in government.

Lib Dem MPs get money for old rope

Glyn Davies said...

Anons - Sorry but I cannot publish comments that make reference to expense claims that may be illegal, unless I have the evidence to back it up in court.

Anonymous said...

David TC Davies claimed twice as much as Lembit

DC current said...

Glyn> how about this comment about Lembit: "Uhh". As I have commented in the past, we have yet to see the full potential of Lembit Opik revealed. I honestly do believe he will become a great politician, but his time will come after taking a plunge.

Lembit clearly has talent (as evidenced by how easily he can find 'opportunities' of so many kinds), just that he has, politically speaking, blunted himself.

Footnote: in the chemical periodic table Uhh is listed as element #116(atomic no. 116). Man doesn't know its actual properties - e.g., Uhh's average atomic weight (since it might well have isotopes - some very unstable and only exist in that form for short periods) and is electronic configuration is uncertain. About sums up Lembit Opik.

Anonymous said...

Lembit Opik will NEVER become anything remotely resembling a great politician, for numerous reasons, the main one being that he lacks integrity. Witness the way in which he dumped Sian Lloyd for a Cheeky Girl, his lifestyle problems, his weekly column for a pornographic paper etc etc. He is a deeply flawed character with big problems, who's thrown away the chances he had. He's not even a shadow front-bencher anymore for goodness sake. My prediction is that he continues to mess up his life and his career. He might not even be around after the next election. He's drinking in the last chance saloon, and sadly, just does not get it.....

Swansea voter said...

Glyn how dd Tory MP's in Wales vote when they had the chance to reject the comms allowance? How did MP's in the party generally vote?

DC current said...

Feel free to hit the scrawl button.

Anon> perhaps you should have read what I have written about Lembit Opik more closely. I concur that Lembit is likely to take a big fall; e.g., that his constituents will not vote for him in sufficient numbers to return him to Parliament, but he is going to take a fall in a few other ways too – in fact he has already suffered a few heart-breaks the past year or so.

I would not go so far to say as you do that Lembit lacks integrity and if memory serves Lembit did not dump Sian Lloyd. If memory serves Ms. Lloyd broke up with Lembit and there was no Cheeky girl involved in the actual break-up. Not that I want to defend Lembit, but let's at least be a bit accurate.

Lembit, love him or hate him, and obviously there are many who hate or despise him, is a very talented guy, just that he seems to have fouled himself to the extent he has lost a lot of credibility in the eyes of the media and the public.

As bad as the damage looks he will, imho, recover, but like what I wrote yonks ago, he will have a hard load to bear. There is something about Lembit that few have noticed, is that Lembit does in fact care, and has a lot of integrity, but that he has allowed his ego and innate talent to connect to bear fruit of the kind that will ultimately bury him. Put simply, Lembit lost focus, to whatever extent he became a Lib-Dem Party leader he turned into a party animal on the social scene to the extent he lost a lot of credibility and some say this came at a cost to his personal integrity. If memory serves Sian Lloyd was reported to have said that Lembit was too much of a party animal and was incapable of focusing on settling down. Essentially she gave up on him.

Lembit is not an intrinsically evil person, but in the minds of much of the public he has lost his way. I do believe he will come back from the abyss, but he hasn’t kissed the abyss quite yet. But as you have observed he is no longer on the Lib-Dems shadow front bench, but the abyss is largely still steaming towards him, and he is going to be hit hard probably in several ways including, but not limited to, the loss of media coverage/interest in him.

That Lembit has quite an ego and is a social animal is very clear. Lembit both likes and attracts the media spot-light like some insects are attracted to bright hot lights. But for insects such an attraction leads to water and energy loss and the poor things tend to run out of steam.

Witness how the common household fly often gets stuck between net-curtains and window during daylight, they start to buzz – a sure sign they are distressed and will soon die if they don’t escape. In a student house with a lot of flies, these are often found lying dead on the inside of window sills. Their last buzz done.

It’s probably going to hit Lembit hard when the media loses interest in him. When the bright light is no longer there to occupy his attention Lembit will go through some personal buzz-time, not of the energy/water depleting kind, he can eat and go to the tap for water. But Lembit’s buzz-time is either going to make the man or destroy him. It’s up to Lembit what happens after that. He has the innate talent to be a very successful politician, but he has to be weaned off the lime-light. Perhaps his upcoming buzz-time will serve that purpose. If it does, he could be anything.

Dr. Christopher Wood said...

I want very much for Glyn Davies to unseat Lembit, but not because I hate Lembit Opik. Just that Glyn Davies has a destiny; Glyn Davies wants to serve and is intent on serving the constituents and the nation well.

Glyn’s character and innate willingness to put the public first is very clear from many of his statements. Among them his promise to be very open and transparent on the expenses front; his solid credentials are very clear. Glyn Davies has been through the fire himself on at least two occasions – so he’s no chicken when it comes to adversity. Something I admire a lot.

Glyn is not ‘in it’ as a career move; put succinctly: Glyn Davies destiny is to serve. His whole fiber and character demands that he puts himself through fire to serve. A man born of fire can serve, and Glyn Davies is that man.

Like what I have written many times, the good people of Montgomeryshire can do no better than send Glyn Davies to Parliament. Glyn Davies will serve them, and the nation, and serve them WELL.

Anonymous said...

Yup, DC, Lembit has to hit rock bottom in order to get real again.
He lost a good girl in Sian, a father, before mending the rift with him, his one and only real friend to drink, even a Cheeky Girl, of all sad things, thought being with him was a bad move......
All this, and yet he STILL didn't get it. Ond hopes that one day he will sink low enough to start the process of awareness as to how he's treated others, to take a long hard look at himself and to embrace honesty and integrity. BUT, he has to want to change. We all read with scepticism about him turning to religion. Well placed scepticism. There was yet another picture of him falling out of yet another London nightclub in the News of the World recently. Lembit will remain a loser until he adresses some pretty basic home-
truths about his lifestyle.