28 May 2009

Who's Next? It's Parliament, Jim, but not as we know it.

We might as well all have a bit of fun while the tumbrels roll majestically and inexorably from Westminster towards Madame La Guillotine, and further to the Tower where heads will be displayed on pikes as in the good old days of the Mother of Parliaments. Here are the challenges for all politically-savvy refugees:

How many MP's will not re-stand for election as a direct result of the current expenses kerfuffle? Any excuses such as 'more time with my family' and 'health problems' will be ruthlessly discounted. If someone has nicked a fiver from the petty cash for some tampons, this will be taken as conclusive evidence of being a thieving bastard and will outweigh all other considerations.

Predict the next casualty before the Torygraph prints his/her own very personal and specific financial indiscretions. (And there are still about 400 MP's to go, so everyone can be a winner! ) Extra points for predicting surreal claims such as horse manure and duck-chalets.

Some distinguished hand-in-the-till casualties so far: Kirkbride, Moran, Steen, Vickers, Hogg, Morley, Chaytor, Chapman, Malik, Martin, MacKay, Sir Nicholas and Ann Winterton. I'm sure I've missed a few, but not to worry, there will be many, many more.

Good luck!


  1. I'm fucking mortified - Anne Perkins has just used the guillotine motif as the headline for her latest article (posted 45 minutes after this I posted this one, btw.)

    Just to be clear, I'm all for heads rolling, she's agin it. Although, unlike her, I'm not married to an MP. Vive la difference.

  2. Gah, Esther "Bloody" Rantzen is offering her services to Luton South, on the grounds that "it is time [the constituency] had someone who takes being an MP seriously"

    So who's she got in mind?

  3. PS scherfers:

    Nice post on the David "Who?" Rowntree thread over there.

    The day I listen to advice from a rock drummer is the day I walk into a chip shop and ask for a set of Gildjian cymbals and a floor tom.

  4. Swifty, there was an unbelievable article on Cif about a year ago by some musician I'd never heard of, where he reckoned that it would take someone like Amy Winehouse to shake the yoof of the UK out of their political apathy. He was duly mocked by all and sundry. Does anyone remember this? I'll try and find it.

  5. Swifty, read and enjoy.

    'So one is left to imagine what could happen if Victoria Beckham had chained herself to the gates of Downing Street in protest of the 42-day detention period. What impact on the hearts and minds of the public if Tweedy and Cole staged a hunger strike in protest of the British government's policy in Iraq?'

    Jon McClure

  6. Interesting quote from Jackie Ashley in her piece about Kirkbride and Moran stepping down. Julie Kirbride, she says, "has never been known as a supporter of the feminist cause – quite the reverse, in fact. She has always insisted that women should be judged on their own merits."

    As for the question, I'd like to think Peter and Iris Robinson would be next, but when it comes to absolute brass neck Norn Arsh politicians can outdo the lot of 'em, so I'm not optimistic.

  7. Im going to go for... hmm... 30 not seeking re-election across all parties. If they had any honour the number would probably end up nearer the 150 mark i suspect, but this is MPs we're talking about.

  8. Ker-thump! Latest head in the basket. I make that number 12.

    'Tory MP Christopher Fraser announced today that he would be standing down at the general election, citing his wife's ongoing health problems.'

    Nice twist on the health problems excuse, but £1,800 for trees and fencing for his £350,000 'second home' in his constituency puts him on our official list. His £1.2m farm in Dorset is, however, his 'main home'. It's a very big house in the country and he will now be able to spend more time there with his wife and his pigs Napoleon, Clarissa and Henrietta and his goats Horace and Jasper.

    watch this

  9. Okay, I haven't seek Ashley's piece yet but my question, based solely on Paddy's quote is: What the hell else should a woman be judged on?

  10. http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2009/may/28/eastenders-gay-love-affair?


  11. "Okay, I haven't seek Ashley's piece yet but my question, based solely on Paddy's quote is: What the hell else should a woman be judged on?"

    I dont think Ms Ashley thought this one through that well in all honesty.

  12. Blimey, Jay, Eastenders gay Muslim/white love affair? Only 25 years after 'My Beautiful Laundrette'? That's pushing the envelope, isn't it? I suppose the laundrette aspect must have clinched it. It all happens there in Eastenders doesn't it? Or is it the caff now? I'm a bit out of touch.

  13. @Jay -- yeah, that's got to be it. I've read the piece now and I think Jackie must've been in a hurry.

  14. It might be a tad less laughable if the "British Muslim" didnt in fact look like a Mediterranean playboy.

  15. A heartwarming 'keep it in the family' scam from the appropriately named Bill Cash. He claimed £15,000 in rent for a London flat which was owned by his daughter. Meanwhile, his son was living rent-free in Cash's own London flat just ten minutes walk from Westminster.

    When his daughter sold her flat for a cool £50,000 profit, the 'homeless' Cash was then forced to bill the taxpayer for the cost of staying at swanky hotels and posh clubs. (The taxpayer also paid his wife's bills.)

    I suspect that Cash will not be re-standing next year.

  16. @scherfers:

    Excellent idea this, mate, we merry cackling gaggle of tricoteuses watching the heads roll and keeping up a running commentary.

    "Ooh that's Madame de Kirkbride that is" -knit knit- "saw a beautiful engraving of her once in a hay champ" -knit knit- "they say it cost the peasants a thousand florins" etc.

  17. I bet the Tele are holding back at least one good one a week to keep sales up. So I think we can probably predict some more frontbenchers going down.

  18. @thauma:

    Might be interesting to play "who's missing?" After all, to paraphrase Rumsfeld, there are knowns, there are unknowns, there are known unknowns... anyway, who's missing from the list o' shame so far? Any big names who oddly haven't popped up yet?

  19. Here's a list of those printed so far. I reckon there's about 300 left. Notable absences are some potential Speakers eg Sylvia Heal and Michael Lord. The Speaker election is June 22.


  20. Cheers scherfers - scary how few MPs names I actually know. I'm firmly of the opinion that we could lose half of them and not miss them one bit.

    Incidentally, Labour councillors were out canvassing last night, the bloke who knocked at our door was almost sheepish... "Hello sir, we're canvassing on behalf of, erm, the Labour Party, do you vote regularly" "Ho ho yes I do, please do go on" "Could I, erm, ask if you might, erm, vote for Labour at the upcoming elections?" He looked even more sheepish after departing with the flea I'd lobbed in his ear.

    Small victories I know, but cheered me up immensely. "And you can tell Gordon Brown another thing from me..."

  21. Ker-thump.

    Elliott Morley to stand down. That's 13 on the scoreboard now for the revolutionaries.

  22. Hmm, my MP's not on the list but has confessed to some sort of irregularity that he's now paid back.

  23. Bill Cash just got a right kicking from Stephen Nolan on 5Live, and he ended the interview early (he's very busy, apparently). He was totally unrepentant, but I think that after this performance, Cameron will shaft him.

    So he'll be on the list soon.

  24. On the, rather appropriately named, Bill Cash, there's also this from Reuters:


  25. Cash's statement regarding the flat - 'It was at a reasonable rent'. £1200 a month more than five years ago? I don't reckon that will wash. Bye bye Bill.

  26. Elliot Morley, as it turns out:


  27. Update - 14 down:

    David Chaytor
    Ian McCartney
    Andrew MacKay
    Douglas Hogg
    Michael Martin
    Anthony Steen
    Sir Peter Viggers
    Ben Chapman
    Sir Nicholas Winterton
    Ann Winterton
    Christopher Fraser
    Julie Kirkbride
    Margaret Moran
    Elliot Morley

  28. Tory shadow junior justice minister,(not joking - 'justice'), Eleanor Laing, made a profit of £1,000,000 on the sale of two flats on which the taxpayers have paid £80,000 mortgage and service charges.
    She also avoided paying CGT of £180,000, but as she says, 'I realised, on investigating the rules, that it would be wrong... to pay CGT on the flat'.

    So that's all right then - paying tax is wrong. Bye bye Eleanor.