TERROR-stricken MPS are begging Prime Minister David Cameron not to allow plans to go ahead to increase their wage by a whopping 11 percent.
The rise, worth nearly £8,000, is nearly four times the current 2.9 percent rate of inflation, but it is not the hugely unpopular “flash the cash” measure that MPs are worried about while the rest of us struggle to cope with austerity measures. Oh no.
Our elected representatives don’t give a left-handed tinker’s damn about the money, whether they’ve got it or whether we haven’t. Oh no.
What has got them absolutely quaking in their boots is not the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority recommendation that they get a massive pay rise but the IPSA’s additional comment that MPs be forced to submit an annual report detailing what they have done and achieved during the year.
That little snippet has got them running round like headless chickens, gibbering with fear at the prospect of the public actually finding out how little they do or achieve for their megabucks.
And no wonder. If you’ve spent a year enjoying relaxing rounds of golf all over the country then you certainly don’t want it revealed that you’ve been paying an actor who looks just like you £30,000 a year to go to Parliament in your stead and just vote the party line.
Then there’s the Foreign Affairs Thinktank on Climate Action and Trade Symposium…..or FATCATS for short.
This brings together the cream of Parliament’s scheming, dodging, chiselling, blood-sucking elite for a series of foreign jaunts on the jolly boys’ outing to end all jolly boys’ outings.
These trips at taxpayers’ expense see MPs slurp determinedly to try and answer the vital question of whether wine at a five-star restaurant overlooking the Bay of Naples has been influenced by global pollution and inflation.
Equally pertinent is their search to discover whether the Baked Salmon a la Boris is being unduly influenced by Canadian sockeye quotas and whether terrorism has affected the quality of the local Bombe Surprise.
They then do their bit to support Portugal’s ailing EU position by rounding off their excellent meal – sorry, fact-finding workshop – with several glasses of a rather decent port.
Naturally there is a certain pecking order to this particular trough MPs are so eager to get their snouts in to, so those lacking the required porker power must look elsewhere for a hard day’s work….and there are plenty of available opportunities.
Few of us would envy any MP unlucky enough to be forced to serve on the Commons Select Committee for Fossil Fuel Exploitation, but there is actually a waiting list of members keen to get on it.
This may have something to do with the fact that meetings seem to coincide in situ with wherever the latest Grand Prix is being held in the world, the Select Committee flying out as observers for each one….with a few pit stops along the way of course.
Finally there are actually some MPs unable to get on any of these beanos who must rely on native cunning a little closer to home to get their kicks or kick-backs.
On the face of it, the Grass Roots Association for British and International Trade (GRABIT) appears to involve hard working MPs in a close scrutiny of how to encourage existing businesses to both expand in this country and abroad.
Even a close look at records of its meetings fails to reveal anything a bit “iffy”, discussions dealing with everything from companies in industry producing high tech tracking equipment to others in agriculture specialising in seed, all of which have clear possibilities for export as well as home application.
The key to unlock this beano comes when you look at the whole and realise that grass seed produces turf while for “tracking equipment” trying thinking goal-line technology.
Yes, you’ve guessed it, the MPs working on this committee are all keen football fans and get to hold their meetings every weekend in different parts of the country depending on where the best match is!
So by all means feel sorry for those performing vital and appreciated work for the nation at perhaps less than they should be getting such as nurses, but think long and hard before you shed too many tears for MPs whose new annual wage, if approved, will be a paltry £74,000.