Thursday, December 10, 2009

No Sir, we are not all the bl***y same.

A few weeks ago, I received an email from a friend informing that Montgomeryshire's MP was lecturing on a cruise liner in the Mediterranean. "So what" I thought. Another friend of mine, an authority on wildlife, does the same thing. No reason why an MP shouldn't do that in September, as long as any benefit is recorded in the Register of Member's Interests. Forgot all about it.

And then on Monday of this week, my office received another email from a very disgruntled businessman from Torquay. I telephoned him to check it wasn't a wind-up. Initially, I decided to ignore it completely. But there were other recipients of the email from 'Disgruntled of Torquay' - and its contents have appeared in the Daily Mail and the Shropshire Star yesterday, and The Sun today. In the interests of accuracy, I reproduce the content of the email. It was dated December 5th..

"Today, I returned from my one and only holiday this year.

I was on board the Cruise ship Queen Victoria. For the last five days of this cruise your local MP was also on board giving two lectures. I only attended the first. It was the most sickening self serving rubbish I have ever heard. Essentially, he was trying to convince his audience that MPs were alright really. He even laughed off the fact that he's been exposed for claiming the value of a wig for what was supposed to be a charity event.

It is also interesting to note;

He must have got paid for this either in kind or in money terms.

Parliament is sitting. Why could he not do this while Parliament is in recess? Teachers do not get to go on holiday in term time, so why do those who are governed have to follow different rules from those who govern?

What would his constituents think about him going off on a holiday cruise liner while Parliament is sitting, and while there is the mother of all recessions on? Making money to boot.

On his blog there is an entry on 1st or 2nd December (i.e. while he was on this ship) calling on Liberal activists to meet in Asda's on Friday to campaign. So the little people do the work on a rainy Friday in Britain and Lembit lives it up in First Class on a luxury liner. Very egalitarian. I bet they would love him for that....

Just thought you might like to know."

I'm not in a position to know how much, if any, of this is true - but I do note that his office manager in Montgomeryshire has reported to have responded with "No comment". Problem with this is that it reflects on all of us who are, or want to be MPs. This afternoon, I was walking down Broad Street in Welshpool, when a stranger was rather rude to me. Seems that he had read Kelvin Mackensie's article in the Sun today, and wanted to (how shall I put this?) 'share his opinion' with me. After my protestation that I knew nothing of the article, he marched off shouting "You bl**dy politicians are all the bl**dy same" Well excuse me, but we're not. In Montgomeryshire there's David Rowlands (Ukip), Heledd Fychan (Plaid) and myself all very keen to represent Montgomeryshire at Westminster - and if elected, I cannot imagine any of us going on a 'private, paid for' holiday while Parliament is sitting. All three of us campaign, at significant cost to ourselves, striving for the opportunity to represent Montgomeryshire. No sir, we are not all the bl**dy same. Anyway, I feel better now that's off my chest.

15 comments:

bonetired said...

And that Glyn is why you deserve to win and become MP for Montgomeryshire.

santers said...

Ahhhh laddie, he's having a good time before "Judgment Day" (general election day). I suspect he's going to 'live it up' for as much as he!

Anonymous said...

glyn you are right to be upset about this. frankly, this story is shocking on top of the expenses scandal it destroys public confidence in all politicians. its a disgrace.

alanindyfed said...

Righteous indignation shared

Anonymous said...

Agreed. This kind of behaviour is disgusting for an MP. I just feel sorry for his office, who must be so embarrassed! Working for Lmbit must be like like taking a muddy mongrel to Crufts!

bonetired said...

Glyn - on another matter altogether (I don't have your email address) so this will have to do.

Have you seen this from the Orthopaedic?

http://www.rjah.nhs.uk/news.aspx#09-12-09b

" The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic and District Hospital NHS Trust progressing its application to become an NHS Foundation Trust and wants to involve local people living in Wales. Over a third of the patients treated at the Orthopaedic Hospital in Gobowen are from Wales.

A series of meetings have been arranged to which people are warmly invited. These meetings will comprise a presentation and questions to members of the Trust Board. All people are welcome to show their support by coming along to hear about how they can be involved in shaping future services at the hospital. The upcoming meetings will enable local people to give their views and ask questions. The public meetings started at the beginning of December and are continuing as follows:

NHS Foundation Trust Consultation - Public Meetings
Tuesday 15th December Medical Institute, Wrexham 12.30pm
Wednesday 6th January 2010 Royal Oak Hotel, Welshpool 6pm
Monday 11th January RJAH Denbigh’s Func Room Open Day

Complimentary refreshments will be provided at the start of the meetings.

To find out more about what it means to become an NHS Foundation Trust, a Consultation Document has been produced which is available both online at: www.rjah.nhs.uk/foundationtrust or by telephoning the FT Facilitator on 01691 404082. The hospital will be looking for members to become part of the FT and inviting applications to become involved in the future of the hospital.

After the consultation period finishes in early February 2010, a report will be produced which will outline all the comments and feedback given.

Chief Executive, Wendy Farrington Chadd is optimistic about this step forward and said, "We have a strong track record of working in partnership with our local communities. Becoming a Foundation Trust will give us the best opportunity to work with our patients, our staff and the many people who support us locally and nationally to work in partnership to improve the services we deliver. We hope you will join us at one of our meetings.""

Anonymous said...

Putting this disgraceful story on your blog is just not enough. the disgruntled chap you met in the street walked away. Take note of this. You should be shouting from the rooftops about LO's behaviour. Will you write a letter to the County Times? Will you talk about it in interviews?? Unless you start actively criticising this moron of an MP, people will not realise what he's up to. Which is basically taking the proverbial p**s. The folk of Montgomeryshire are not psychic. Go TELL thm!

penlan said...

Glyn,I have to say that Anon 12.48 has a point.It's no use playing the game against him.He is a disgrace to public life.

Glyn Davies said...

Bonetired - Very generous! On your second comment, I do know about the RJAH Hospital plans and am intending to go to the meeting on Jan 6th.. About 3 years ago, when I was an Assembly Member, I arranged a reception in the National Assembly where the then Chair and Cheif Exec of the RJAH explained their plans. Several AMs of all parties attended. Foundation status is not allowed in Wales by the Assembly Government - and we are all a lot more suspicious following the scandals in some of the English examples. In theory, I remain supportive of the principle, but the regulatory system must be strengthened.

santers, anon 1 and Alan - no more to be said.

anon 2 - They're saying nothing this week. And I suspect some mobiles are off!!

anon 3 - I too thought the people of Montgomeryshire should know about this - which is why I did blog the story. Must admit I was a bit surprised that the local weekly, the County Times ignored the story, especially since the nationals covered it. I know that many Conservative supporters share your opinion about my approach to politics, but its what I decided to do several years ago. Its not that I don't know how to 'get rough', but I really detest the pettiness and childishness of British politics. And the 'expenses' scandal has made things worse. Every candidate must be true to their own sense of what's right, or there is no point in standing.

Anonymous said...

And what about the Newtown electricians going to London at LO's beck and call? Unbelievable! I suppose you will also refuse to use this against him, even though it's our money he's wasting? What does it take for you to actually publicly condemn him? Will you be writing to the County Times about the electricians incident?? Will you hell!!

bonetired said...

I don't normally read the Sun but this might be of interest;
http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/2769227/MP-Lembit-Opik-has-sparky-from-Wales-work-on-London-flat-at-taxpayers-expense.html

Anonymous said...

glyn for goodness sake, start telling the people of montgomeryshire what their mp is doing. if you dont wh is going to. certainly not the local county times. how can this newpaper be treated with any respect when it covers up for the behaviour of the local mp as it does. the mp is a laughing stock all over britain yet the county toimes carries on covering up for him by refusing to report stories aboit where hes ripped off the voters. its time to get off the gloves and go for him.

Glyn Davies said...

Penlan and anons - I just do not agree with you, and members of my campaign team who think I should publicly attack our MP over issues like his freebie cruise while Parliament was sitting and for trying to win votes in Montg. by employing electricians from Newtown to do repairs in London. First think to say is that I would not enjoy my politics if I based my campaign on negativity. But more importantly, if I were to join in the criticism, it would just be dismissed as 'six of one and half a dozen of the other'. Far better that others, without a personal interest do it! It was a surprise to me that the local County Times declined to cover a story that was covered in the Mail, the Sun (twice), and Newsnight, but I cannot control that. I agree that the people of Montgomeryshire deserve to know how they are being represented, which is why I posted this blog - informing everyone that there was another 'expenses paid' cruise in September as well, which has not been properly declared. But I cannot make the media cover what I think are important issues. All I do know is that if I'd gone cruising while the Assembly was sitting, I'd have been crucified. And I was crucified by the BBC when I didn't declare an overnight stay in a Cardiff Hotel after playing in the Parliamentary Sheild (worth around £200) a few years back. I didn't realise it was above a threshold, but it made no difference.

Anonymous said...

I totally disagree with your stance in refusing to criticise the MP for Hello. He is ripping off the people of Montgomeryshire and has lost any remaining crumb of credibility he might have had by going on that freebie cruise. He is paid to represent us in parliament, not to lounge about on luxury cruises and certainly not to waste our money on paying local sparks to trot down to London on his behalf. This really is the last straw. Posting on your blog is less than useless, in so much as most people in the area do not read your blog. People who know what a dangerous hypocrite LO has turned out to be, are in despair at your inactivity. We deserve better than this self-serving oaf.

Glyn Davies said...

Anon - I don't think you are fair to accuse me of inactivity. I know the Lib Dems are sick and tired of me turning up everywhere.

Now lets look at this strategically. If I were to launch in, as you suggest, let me tell you what I think would happen. Firstly, my comments would be described as being 'typical' of the 'nasty party'. And secondly, any report triggered by my comments would begin with a self serving defence by the MP. Something like .....defending myself against a totally unjustified attack, at a difficult time etc..... My own comments would be in the fourth paragraph down, which most readers don't reach. I accept that this issue was important, and I was surprised it was not covered in the local weekly paper, but it was on the front page of the Shropshire Star, which has quite a wide readership - and covered in the Daily Mail, extensively in the Sun over two days, and in the Wales on Sunday - and briefly in the NoW and the Express. Can't see how anything I could have said would top that. I want to win this election, and I'm following the strategy that I think is the best way to achieve it.