Tuesday, October 09, 2007

MPs Told to Queue Barge

The Serjeant at Arms Office in the House of Commons has only just moved into the twentieth century, let alone the 21st. In an astonishing email to House of Commons staff today, the Serjeant at Arms has told them to allow MPs to queue barge, because they're very busy people you know. This was the text of the email...
Before the recess the Speaker approved the Administration Committee’s recommendation that Members should have priority access to services throughout the Commons part of the Parliamentary Estate. With effect from today, staff and other users should be prepared to give way to Members when queuing for retail and catering services, the post office, travel office or when using other facilities such as lifts, photocopiers, telephone cubicles, etc. When using parliamentary facilities, please bear in mind whether there is, or is likely to be, a heavy demand from Members and, if so, try to amend your own plans or schedule.

Unbelieveable. So, who are the members of the Administraiton Committee who so obviously wish to utter those immortal words "Don't You Know Who I Am" as they push in front of a hapless researcher in the cafeteria?
Mr Frank Doran (Chairman), Aberdeen North Labour
Janet Anderson, Rossendale & Darwen, Labour
Rt Hon Mr Nicholas Brown, Newcastle upon TyneEast and Wallsend, Labour
Mr Simon Burns, West Chelmsford, Conservative
Mr Christopher Chope, Christchurch, Conservative
Derek Conway, Old Bexley & Sidcup, Conservative
Rt Hon Frank Dobson, Holborn & St Pancras, Labour
Mr Brian H Donohoe, Central Ayrshire, Labour
Mr Neil Gerrard, Walthamstow, Labour
Helen Jones, Warrington North, Labour
Mr Kevan Jones, North Durham, Labour
Rt Hon Greg Knight, East Yorkshire, Conservative
David Lepper, Brighton, Pavilion, Labour
Mr John Randall, Uxbridge, Conservative
John Thurso, Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross, Liberal Democrats
Pete Wishart, Perth and North Perthshire, Scottish National
So, if you work in the Houses of Parliament and any of these MPs push in front of you, here's a word of advice. Tell them to bugger off.

UPDATE 4.30pm: I see Guido got there an hour before me! And Kerron emails me to say he actually got there before Guido. So there.

UPDATE 7pm: Well done to Lembit Opik. He's tabled an EDM on this...
Priority Access to Facilities
That the House notes with astonishment the announcement made on Tuesday 9th October that "Members should have priority access to services throughout the Commons part of the Parliamentary Estate"; further notes that such an approach is expedient in certain areas at certain times, such as during a division, but not everywhere all the time; believes that this announcement serves to create a rigid two tier system which is counter to an enlightened image of Parliament; further believes there is merit in a general presumption of equality on the Parliamentary Estate; and urges the Accommodation Committee to reconsider.

Let's see how many MPs sign it.

UPDATE: Peter Oborne emails to say that this story emeplifies what he was saying at the fringe meetin in Blackpool about MPs thinking of themselves as some sort of elite. I have to agree.


stuart said...

Whatever happened to traditional British manners?

And, as a former researcher myself, I can say that I used to be pretty busy too.

Unixman said...

I hope that these people realise that WE, joe public, pay their salaries and not themselves. Telling them to bugger off is too mild. Arrogant turds.

EVDB said...

Nearly fell of my chair when I got that email. Tempted to ask if said MPs would deign to actually wear their passes so we can set them apart easier and move out of their way more quickly in the lunch queue.

David said...

When would Frank Dobson ever, ever need to do anything in a hurry? I cannot believe that the most pointless MP has any cause to do anything before someone else.

Kerron said...

UPDATE: I see I got there before both of you!

Anyway, more importantly there is a meeting next week where staff will have a showdown with the MPs.

Chuck Unsworth said...

Why on earth did the Serjeant at Arms actually entertain the notion in the first place? Time was when he would have told these self-regarding pompous prats precisely where to get off.

'I'm very busy, get out of my way' Who the hell are these idiots? They need a bloody good smack.

Are you sure you want to get into this club, Iain? Seems like the rules get more and more arcane every day.

And, more importantly, why has the Serjeant at Arms become such a complete poodle? Almost as bad as Mr Speaker.

Trumpeter Lanfried said...

When Prince Edward, Prince of Wales, was serving in the 1914-18 war he always made a point of joining the back of the NAFFI queue.

He was not an admirable man, but in this he showed an example which these contemptible little squirts (aka MPs) would do well to follow.

Guthrum said...

They will be abolishing elections nextbecause they have not got the time !

Trumpeter Lanfried said...

Cameron should make it known tonight, before the 6 o'clock news, that no Tory will take advantage of this 'facility'.

Chicago Bear said...

So what happened to the Respect Agenda?

Anonymous said...

"Do you know who I am ?"

"Yes, Do you know who I am ? - the person who votes for you and pays your salary. Now get in the queue you arrogant s*d and wait your turn like the rest of us !"

Unbelievable - no wonder MPs get a bad press !

eddie said...

I take it from this then, Iain, that you will be foregoing this privilege if/when you finally make it to the "Mother" of all Parliaments? :-)

In truth, I'll bet there are a lot of MPs who will not use this privilege. Some of them are actually decent folk, and they get a terrible name thanks to the actions of a select few, such as the pompous pricks you rightly name and shame.

Jonathan Sheppard said...

Did Guido and Kerron push in front of you?

geoffers said...

I think there'll a lot of MPs taking pride in not taking up this entitlement.

Party politics aside, many MPs are people of character, methinks

Anonymous said...

Trumpeter Lanfried said...
"When Prince Edward, Prince of Wales, was serving in the 1914-18 war he always made a point of joining the back of the NAFFI queue."

He must have had a long wait. The NAAFI wasn't founded until 1921.

Madasafish said...

I'm sorry. If MPs don't use the "right" to queue jump but let other MPs do it, they are spineless.

Anonymous said...

Don't know about now but years ago it was protocol that Members could - and did - regularly queue jump, especially the taxi queue and in the bars. When did the rules change then?

machiavelli said...

"Don't You Know Who I Am?"

The answer, of course, being, "no"

Astro-Turf Lawnmower said...

I thought this was the case when I was a researcher there in the late 90s, but perhaps it changed in the interim.

The odd MP did used to push in to get their breakfast/lunch quicker; this was frowned upon and I recall a queue of researchers effing and blinding at one who did it regularly (he later became Tory leader for a while).

When votes were on, lifts were pretty much MPs only (though this was generally accepted as fair enough as they only had 8 mins or whatever to get to the division lobbies from Millbank).

I remember seeing a note about how the rule only applied to MPs in person. This followed a number of researchers trying to push in to the lengthy Christmas queues at the shop in December, claiming buying items "on behalf of their Member".

You soon learned which MPs (almost all of them actually) queued up with everyone else, who would only push in if genuinely busy and with fulsome apologies, and who marched to the front of queue as a matter of course.

Anonymous said...

We're not told if the Committee was unanimous in its view or whether there were dissenters, so you can't condemn them all unless they are ALL guilty.

Iain Dale said...

Good point. Anyone know the answer?

revolted by brown said...

What can you expect when we have a Government based on lies and spin and in thrall to the grotesque ego of Gordon Brown?

In many years of following politics in this country I have rarely witnessed a more nakedly cynical, nauseating display of self-serving politicking than Darling's speech this afternoon.

Darling, of course, is just the puppet and Brown the puppet master and this whole charade of lies and spin was designed to try to make things a little easier for Coward Brown at tomorrow's PMQs and to try to regain some of the initiative lost so profoundly to the Tories.

Brown and his stooges are unfit to lead this country as their blatant attempts to play politics, firstly with the lives of British soldiers, and now with the UK economy clearly demonstrates.

Words cannot express the increasing revulsion I, and millions of others, feel towards the vile Brown as he reveals more and more of his monstrous self.

Chuck Unsworth said...

Iain "Good point. Anyone know the answer?"

Makes hardly any difference. Those who did not agree to this ghastly display of bad manners and self-aggrandisement can quite easily let their true position be known.

By their deafening silence you'll know them

Lady Finchley said...

I am glad this has come to the attention of the press - it is disgraceful. Bad enough staff have to queue for half their lunch hour because of the amount of guests that MPs and staff bring in during the lunch rush. Then it is another long wait for a table. Jeremy Corbyn once had a party of 12 which took over two tables like we stood their like p....s with our trays in our hands. Staff are also offenders as they are not supposed to bring guests between 12 and 2 yet they do. My colleagues and I have made NUMEROUS complaints to the Catering Department only to be fobbed off with lame excuses.

I will say one thing - if an MP of any persuasion tries to queue jump he will have to kill me first.

Nicholas Bennett said...

Look here you plebs!

The House of Commons is for the elected representatives of the people.

How dare you common people impede the common peoples' representatives!

JH said...

If i see any MPs doing it, i'll be sure to post them on here, so rotten tomatoes, or mochas from the Despatch Box, can be thrown at them.

Edward said...

A sensible output from Lembit Opik for a change!

Paul Linford said...

While I agree with you Iain, it has always been the practice in relation to the taxi rank, the Strangers Cafeteria, and the House of Commons souvenir shops, that MPs were allowed to barge the queue, although this edict appears to extend that to other areas.

It may surprise some people to know (it surprised me) that Peter Mandelson was one of the few MPs who never took advantage of this.

Trumpeter Lanfried said...

anonymous [6.08 PM] I stand corrected. I must have read about field canteens, under some other name; perhaps the organisation that eventually became Soldiers Sailors Airmen and Families Association?

Anonymous said...

I suspect that this will mean that Charlotte Church may consider standing for Parliament, just so that she can 'jump the queue' !..

Anonymous said...

Worth pointing out that this applies only to the House of Commons. There is nothing like it in the House of Lords.

Duncan Borrowman said...

Oh good, next time my MP (Derek Conway) is in a hurry to grab a packet of crisps I will be so pleased not to recognise him.

Anonymous said...

chuck unsworth

I have no idea of the status of the Admin C'ttee (I note it was The Speaker who approved their recommendations--so no surprise there from that champagne socialist), and therefore I do not know whether the deliberations of the C'ttee appear in Hansard or whether the voting record appears there.
No one has produced any information on who voted for or against but you still want to condemn everyone. Perhaps some WILL reveal that they voted against, now that the story is out--then you can apologise for lumping them together with those in favour?

Duncan Borrowman said...



Members present:
Mr Frank Doran, in the Chair
Janet Anderson
Mr Simon Burns
Mr Brian H Donohoe
Helen Jones
Mr Greg Knight
David Lepper
Mr Andrew Robathan
John Thurso

Apologies: Mr Bob Ainsworth, Mr Christopher Chope, Derek Conway, Frank Dobson, Mr Neil Gerrard, Mr Kevan Jones, Pete Wishart.

Members’ priority access to services
The Committee considered options for extending Members’ priority access to services around the Estate. Issues arising during the discussion included:
o the time wasted by Members in waiting for services which could have been used instead to pursue parliamentary duties
o the growing numbers of Officers of the House, of other House staff and of Members’
staff, with whom facilities were being shared
o the inadequate enforcement of current regulations on access to facilities such as the
Members-only lift and telephone cubicles
o the fact that existing Members’ priority services, such as the taxi queue and
Members’ priority till in the souvenir shop, appeared to operate without difficulty
o the layout of the Despatch Box coffee kiosk as a key factor in its overcrowding
o the general culture of Portcullis House.
The Clerk informed the Committee that all Officers of the House had been reminded that
access to facilities shared with Members was provided so they could carry out their
duties, and that they should use these facilities with discretion. He would also be taking
up detailed points raised at the meeting with relevant Heads of Department.

On a proposal from Mr Burns, the Committee agreed to recommend to the Speaker:
o that Members, given the pressure on their diaries, should have the opportunity
to take priority over other customers at all service points throughout the
Commons part of the Estate.
o that signage at service points should make it clear that Members had priority
over other customers at all times, and
o that existing access regulations should be better enforced by security staff.
The Committee agreed to send a notice to all Members to remind them of their responsibility for making sure their own staff abide by the access regulations.

Richard Bailey said...

What a load of b****ks.
I am working at the Royal Courts currently and it goes without saying that the needs of the Judges come before the rest of us. I have previously worked in the military and the needs of senior officers (Colonels and above) most certainly come before others. All of this is borne out of respect.

It says quite a lot about the descent of British politics that a) Members are not respectfully permitted priority in THEIR place of work, and
b) that they have now decided to demand respect in such a pathetic and needy way.

God I'm starting to hate this country.

Joe Taylor said...

Do you have the EDM number Iain? I'm keen to spread this about a bit.

The full text would be useful too.

Lady Finchley said...

Richard Bailey - I take your point but.....

The MPs have their own restaurants - The Adjournment, Strangers, the Churchill Room and the Members' Tea Room - if they want priority service they can go there - we are not allowed in any of those places except on Fridays-which is only right. What we are talking about are the canteens-the Debate, Bellamy's and the Terrace Cafe. And the Members have their own section of the Terrace. Why should we be kicked out of what are basically staff canteens?

Members also have their own post office which we can't use - again, fine, but if they don't want to mix with the hoi polloi the solution is simple - go to your own post office.

And when staff are using the photocopiers what are we doing - photocopying for our bosses who are Members. I'm not there to photo copy my butt.

What are we doing at post office - posting stuff for our bosses. And if we do use the Post Office to post our household bills, why shouldn't we? We work eight, nine and ten hours a day - when would we have the chance to go to a post office outside the Estate?

I agree that certain curtesies should be in place - I wouldn't dream of getting in a lift during a division. I wouldn't dream of having a slew of guests between 12 and 2 or hogging a table long after I finished eating. But these are common curtesies that do not need enforcing by such crass means.

The SAA have made a huge mistake in issuing this edict. The media and the public are in no mood for this kind of crap and it has only served to visit opprobrium on MPs who already stand pretty low in the estimation of the general public. And now the union is up in arms. This one is not going to go away.

Anonymous said...

ah, how pleasing that we pay for the "Members’ priority till in the souvenir shop"

Doubtless all souvenirs purchased therein are on the HoC expenses, payable by us, the taxpayers.

Anonymous said...

Duncan Borrowman

Thanks for this clarification.

Chuck Unsworth

You can now apologise to those whom you castigated.

Horrified to learn that Frank Doran should be in charge of anything. A lawyer with a dodgy past. Can't believe that he and John Thurso (that's the Earl of Thurso or some other title disguising himself as a commoner) as MPs for Scottish Constituencies, have "pressing diary commitments". Unlike their English counterparts they have no responsibility for their constituents' housing, education, transport, justice, police, health, matters (all devolved to the Scottish Parliament)
Pressing diary commitments my a***!

The Remittance Man said...

Queue Jumping MP: "Do you know who I am?"

Minion: "Yes, but do you know who I am?"

QJ MP: "Of course not"

Minion: "Good. Take that!" [proceeds do deliver well deserved beating to said MP]

I'm prepared to stand a bottle of champers for the first employee of the house who thumps some arrogant queue barging Richard the Third of an MP. Anybody else willing to join a pledge fund and help make it a case?

Anonymous said...

Of course if they really are so busy they could reduce the length of the summer recess.
Or it that applying to much common sense?

Chuck Unsworth said...

@ Anon 3:28.

Good Grief. I'll not have enough time left on this earth to apologise to all those I have castigated over the years, so I won't actually bother. These self-serving grandees are big enough to answer for themselves without your intervention from behind a pathetic anonymity, and if they are not, then tough.

You're obviously of the view that absence from a committee meeting equals dissent, or, at the very least, neutrality. Well, maybe those of moral fibre on that committee who disagree will be raising the matter for reconsideration, then.

Equally you'll note from the report published here that there was apparently no dissent at all. Members who did not attend could quite easily have made their views on this important (agenda) matter known to the Chairman prior to the meeting. Clearly - from the report - they did not. Sometimes deliberately saying or doing nothing leads to personal gain - how very strange.

Anyway, give yourself a name and we can then have a sensible dialogue, otherwise - at the profound risk of causing personal offence - you know what to do, that is if you are physically capable.

Anonymous said...

To impede, or delay, an MP in his work is a service to the people and deserves recognition.
There is no government that is not improved by immobilisation.

judith said...

I believe Richard lll was far too polite to have ever queue-jumped - isn't he referred to as the last gentleman to have sat on the throne of England?

aardvark said...

Judith said...I believe Richard lll was far too polite to have ever queue-jumped.

I think there might be an element of rhyming slang in the Remittance Man's comment.

Julian the Wonderhorse said...

Does this mean the MPs can also jump the queue for the toilet cubicles when they feel a "moment of madness" coming on again?

Lady Finchley said...

The Union and the Secretaries and Assistants Council have called an emergency meeting next week and have issued a press release which the BBC have picked up. It isn't going to die.

The Remittance Man said...

Lady Finchely,

Well that's scuppered the plan then. In my experience there are two types of lady one doesn't fight:

The first is the old style colonial governor's wife who could quell a native uprising with a single glare and the command: "Stop being silly and go home. All of you."

The other is the senior manager's secretary. A breed before whom even the most roughtie of toughtie engineers tremble.

The MP's haven't got a chance.

Anonymous said...


The Committee held a general discussion with Dr Malcolm Jack, Clerk of the House of
Commons and Chief Executive of the House of Commons Service.
Dr Jack told the Committee that he had two priority areas in terms of relations with Members
on which he wanted to focus as Chief Executive:
· improving channels of communication between the House Service and Members, and
· focusing the House Service on direct delivery of services, while streamlining structures
and apparatus.
The following were among the issues raised in the ensuing discussion:
· Not all staff in contact with Members treated Members as they wished to be treated.
Part of the problem might be that many staff in the House Service had little direct
contact with Members. Despite all staff receiving equal opportunities training, female
Members did not always feel that they were treated with the same respect as male Members.
· Members felt that the House Service did not always behave as if they were its central
concern. It sometimes seemed to have other objectives to which Members were apparently an obstruction.
Members did not like having to explain their activities to junior staff of the House
Service, for example when drawing on the parliamentary allowances to furnish a home.
· Rules on access were sometimes contravened by House staff and Members’ staff.
Members did not always meet with a civil response when they challenged this.
· The large, and growing, number of passholders on the Estate was seen as having an adverse impact on the service provided to Members. This was largely down to sheer pressure on facilities, for example at the Despatch Box coffee shop in Portcullis House.

= = = = = = =

The House of Commons Service seeks to achieve high ethical standards, value for money and professional excellence in all that it does. As an employer, the House of Commons Commission recognises and values the diversity of its staff and is committed to fairness and best practice.

As an employer we value integrity, professionalism, teamwork, recognition and commitment.....
= = = = =
Our Benefits
As a recognised Investors in People (IiP) organisation we offer excellent training and development opportunities

Valuing Diversity, Equality and Fairness

= = = = = = = = = =

House of Commons Commission
Review of Management and Services (1999)
The House as employer
14.8 Both because of its national prominence, and for reasons of self–interest, the House should value its staff; and its treatment of them should reflect that. Any well–managed private or public sector organisation recognises that its key asset is well–trained, well–motivated and loyal staff. The complex Parliamentary environment requires a high degree of professionalism and performance, in which the House is well served.

= = = = = = = = = =

House of Commons Staff Handbook - July 2007
4.8 Valuing Others
The Board of Management is committed to providing a work environment that is fair to all and where everyone is treated with respect and dignity. Each of us
is responsible for sustaining this environment through how we behave towards each other and what we do every day.
In such an environment where people’s contribution is recognised and acknowledged, staff, whatever their background and level, will feel encouraged to realise their full potential and support the House in achieving its objectives.
All staff deserve and should expect to be treated with respect for who they are and what they do. This treatment should be consistent and inclusive.

4.8.2 Rights and responsibilities of staff
All staff are entitled to:
● be treated with dignity, respect and courtesy by managers, colleagues,
Members of Parliament and their staff, contractors, visitors and members of the public
● be valued for the work that they do
● be free from any form of discrimination, victimisation, harassment or bullying
when on the Parliamentary Estate or on Parliamentary business
● work in an environment free from unwelcome behaviour and language....
All staff are responsible for ensuring they understand what behaviour is required
of them and that their conduct does not cause offence. Everyone shares a
responsibility for understanding the sensitivities and feelings of others and avoiding behaviour that could cause offence or distress. Equally, all staff should
be free to carry out their duties free from unfounded allegations of harassment or bullying.
= = = = = =

Lady Finchley said...

Well, remittance man it is very true that very few have challenged me and lived to tell the tale. Lol.

On a serious note there is now a notice pasted outside the Debate which is the general canteen -'Priority given to Members at all Times'. Utterly disgusting.

Anonymous said...

This new ruling is as objectionable as it is unnecessary! And for Mr Speaker to approve it shows how quickly these people forget their roots.

MPs should remember they are in the House to serve, assisted by their lowly paid staff who are just as busy.

The signs have gone up all over the Commons already. So much for consultation. The place has gone to the dogs!

Anonymous said...

Respect has to be earned... and such matters were always down to common courtesy working in the House.

To have this official edict sent out says a lot about the standing of our MPs and the state of Britain as a whole!

I certainly shan't conform now that it's in black and white.

This has really got my back up!!!

Lady Finchley said...

Anon 2:35

Very interesting but what you might like to keep in mind is that MP's staff are NOT considered employees of the House and we are not afforded the same rights - in fact they have a great deal more in the way of rights than do Members' staff.

Anonymous said...

Orwell's Animal Farm as I live and breathe!!!

Anonymous said...

Have decided to keep and publish a list of Queue barging and non-queue barging MPs. First on the list Dr Liam Fox did NOT queue barge this morning. Please let me know who has queue barged by emailing b0vinem00@yahoo.co.uk. They are zeros instead of o. I like the idea of a name and shame list.

Lady Finchley said...

Liam Fox is always a perfect gentleman I am pleased to say.

Anonymous said...

Lady Finchley is right. MPs' staff are ALWAYS last in the queue... for pay and conditions and other rights. I can understand why many Members' staff feel this is a kick in the teeth after all their years of loyal service.

The 'pigs' are finally taking over the Westminster farm.

Anonymous said...

With all this going on, I've just this minute heard one longstanding senior Member complain that they've rearranged the Members' Tea Room. Apparently the counters have been moved.

How dreadful. This really is the end of civilisation as we know it!!!

It's time the public knew the TRUTH about the people they send to represent them.

Michael Francis said...

Just the sort of information we need; I see my MP's name is listed and how else would I know how cosy he is after ten years in the club.

Helen said...

MPs have always have had priority access to facilities. Remember the story of the police officer on the corner of Bridge Street who was supposed to stop the traffic whenever he saw an MP wanting to cross the road. What's the big deal? It has ever been thus.

Lady Finchley said...

It's a big deal, Helen, because we are no longer a society that bows down to their 'betters'. At the risk of repeating myself - they have their own restaurants - 3 of them - plus the Members' Tea Room and their own post office. If they choose to get a coffee from the Despatch Box or get lunch at the Debate then they had better take it as they find it. If they choose to go to the post office in Portcullis House rather than their own post office and have to wait then it is tough titty. How dare they be so arrogant as to think that we should arrange our day around them. Next we'll be told we have to give way to their wives.

Of course I blame the Catering Department for refusing to take a firm line on guests - despite the pleas of myself and my colleagues. We have long complained about table hogging by interns, researchers and their guests but were told the no guest rule between 12 and 2 couldn't be enforced. So how are they going to enforce this - are the going to arrest us?!

klaxon said...

I am afraid that I agree with those who have been critical of this move.

I have worked in the HoC for a number of years, and been treated with both extreme courtesy and unbelievable discourtesy by MPs - who I feel should be regularly reminded are paid from our taxes, and are our 'servants'!

Whilst the most are professional and courteous (I think particularly of people like Hugh Robertson, Brooks Newmark, Francis Maude and many others, who are models of courtesy and fairness) some are utter pigs!

Sadly, the worst offenders seem to be some of those young Tory MPs (which as a party member and employee of an older Tory MP, saddens me greatly), who after successful careers in the city or the military, seem to bring their unique style of ‘man management’ with them!

In particular, one MP – a ‘young turk’ who represents a seat in Dorset has to be the rudest man I have ever met. He shouts, swears and has simply the foulest temper. You only have to disagree with him on the slightest matter and he has a temper tantrum right in front of you, totally uncaring about the way he is perceived - and I often wonder if he would actually become aggressive if pushed too far. He is quite immature and most unprofessional in my opinion. He certainly seems unable to control is temper, and he sulks like a baby. I know from trustworthy (and thankfully discreet) friends who have worked for this man that he is an utter bully, and anywhere outside of the Commons would have been disciplined for the way he treats his ‘colleagues’. Sadly, as an MP he is accountable to no-one save the electorate, and the whips tend to wash their dirty laundry in private. I personally would like to see David Cameron have strong words with him, as he has been complained about several times!

And sadly, the second rudest man is a member of the shadow cabinet, who is universally disliked precisely because he has a superiority complex, cannot countenance anyone questioning him, has a foul temper, and it seems that the MP above is modeling himself on the Shadow Cabinet member. One of his staff members I know socially described him as ‘part fantasist, part psychopath, and entirely without a redeeming feature’! He like the ‘honourbale’ member mentioned above, is rude, arrogant, dismissive, lofty, smarmy, and thoroughly disagreeable and should be taken aside. Sadly, he is great friends with both Lord Ashcroft and David Davies – and as such is fairly untouchable! People I know in the lobby also say the lobby as a whole have a thoroughly negative view of this particular individual, which is bound to affect his performance in the media.

So, with ‘public servants’ such as this, it is hardly surprising that we have institutionalized superiority, and the us tax payers being lorded over by the ‘commoners’ we elect to represent us!

I am sure the same is true for the other party’s but I don’t know many on the other benches, except Tony Benn, who was always an absolute gent!

But why do MPs tolerate standards of behaviour amongst their own that they would never accept from others?

Just keeping you informed said...

Thursday 11th October


House of Commons Administration Committee member, SNP MP Pete Wishart today (Thursday) said that the Committee has been made to look ridiculous by the ongoing row on Priority Access for Services for Members of Parliament. Mr Wishart will now ensure that this issue is discussed and reassessed at a future Administration Committee meeting.

Mr Wishart said:

“I could not believe when I saw the dictat from the Serjeant at Arms concerning priority access, seemingly made at the behest of the Administration Committee. A more incendiary and heavy handed form of words could surely not be found, and it has had the almost unprecedented effect of uniting all Commons staff in opposition.

“Where at previous committees there have been concerns about the use of lifts during divisions and complaints from some members about difficulties in securing access to some services, there was never any move to introduce or entrench a 2 tier House of Commons.

“Because of Parliamentary business I was unable to attend the last meeting of the Committee, but I want this considered again. I know that there are other Members of the Committee who believe that this is heavy handed and unnecessary. What we now need is a proper discussion about how we all share common services in the House, in the interests of all who work here.”


Lady Finchley said...


You have summed them up perfectly!

Meanwhile, employees still persist in taking guests in between 12 and 2, while others sat at tables reading or chatting long after their lunch was finished. We saw one table with four guests. Sorry, but when space is at such a premium you eat and go and certainly don't have a gaggle of guests. It is just this sort of behaviour that makes those jumped up morons on the Admin Committee think their petty rules are justified. PCH has become like on big student union with people who just don't know how to behave.

The only upside is that quite a few MPs are going out of their way to be polite as if to compensates for their colleagues. Still, I won't rest until those ridiculous rules are rescinded - you have no idea how I long to tear down the signs which state that Members have priority access at all times and I just may do. What are they going to do - arrest me? Go ahead, make my day.