Friday, July 24, 2009

Question for MPs: When Did You Last Beat Your Wife (or Husband)?

The Daily Telegraph is apparently planning to do a big feature over MPs' holiday plans. This is an email which MPs have been receiving today.

Dear XXXX,

The Daily Telegraph is conducting an investigation into MPs’ plans for the summer recess.
As part of this investigation, we would be very grateful if you could answer these short questions about your own plans.

1. Have you made plans to take any overseas vacations during the Parliamentary recess?

2. If so, where will you be travelling to, and for how many days?

3. If you have not yet made plans to take any overseas vacations during the Parliamentary recess, do you consider that it is likely that you will make such plans later in the summer?

4. If so, where do you anticipate travelling to, and for how many days? Please provide a broad estimate (ie “roughly two weeks / somewhere in Europe) if you are unsure.

5. Have you made plans to take any vacations within the British Isles during the Parliamentary recess?

6. If so, where will you be travelling to, and for how many days?

7. If you have not yet made plans to take any vacations within the British Isles during the Parliamentary recess, do you consider that it is likely that you will make such plans later in the summer?

8. If so, where do you anticipate travelling to, and for how many days? Please provide a broad estimate (ie “roughly two weeks / somewhere in Scotland) if you are unsure.

9. How many days or part-days do you anticipate spending in your constituency during the Parliamentary recess?

10. How many days or part-days do you anticipate spending in London or elsewhere on Parliamentary, party or ministerial / shadow ministerial duties during the Parliamentary recess?

11. How many days or part-days do you anticipate spending in London or elsewhere on non-Parliamentary, party or ministerial business during the Parliamentary recess? Please elaborate on your activities. (ie work as a director / spending time in London second home working on book)

12. Will you attend some or all of your party conference? If so, how long will you attend for?

13. Do you consider that your plans this year are broadly similar to those of previous years?

14. If not, what are the reasons for the change?

Please could we have your response by 9am tomorrow (July 25) so that it can be reflected in our article.

I suggest MPs issue a four word response. Mind. Your. Own. Business. Taking care not to insert the F word in front of business.

36 comments:

Weejohnnie said...

Nobody in their right mind would reply to this. But then again, could weed out a few whose fuddled brains can't recognise an advancing train in a tunnel...

WillCH said...

Quite right. MYO[F]B.

Just because there may have been some MPs who were playing the system, even some who were committing a fraud of varying degrees, that doesn't mean it's open-season on their private lives. Draw the line folks: we do NOT have the right to pry into anyone's holiday activities, however much the tabloid telegraph may want it.

Anyone else think this has got to the point now where the only reason this is dragged out is sales figures? Surely there is no real public interest story in this?

"Snouts in the trough", they say: yes, the editors of the newspapers have their snouts far further into the credibility-free dirt-digging trough here than 'public interest' can possibly justify.

Anonymous said...

Or, perhaps, they might reply "Let me know the answers to the same questions for your board of directors."

canvas said...

It appears the Daily Telegraph are overdoing this story and it could backfire on them. Personally, I could care less where MPs spend their holiday. Big deal.

Anonymous said...

Unless we the taxpayer are directly funding any of their recess activities it is none of our business.

I would be interested in any Parliamentary Coastal Defence Assessment tours to St Lucia, mind.

Hawkeye said...

Iain, your four word response is too long. My response would be two words long and the second word is "Off".

Even corrupt MPs are allowed some time to themselves and honest MPs (like mine) even more so.

Plenty said...

Then again we have to commend the Labourgraph or Torygraph for making known what some of them were up to. Imagine what they would have been claiming had this not been out in the open even before their 'Blackout'

Anonymous said...

GO TELEGRAPH !!!

TERMINATE WITH EXTREME PREJUDICE !!

Anonymous said...

http://www.tweetfeel.com/

apparently you can see what twitterers are saying but I got no results for the by election

Nick said...

Maybe we ought to e-mail all our contacts at the Telegraph and ask the same questions?

Mind you I bet you would get a lot of 'out of office' replies!

Pete said...

Going against the grain here: Yes I would *very much* like to know what MPs are doing during their ridiculously long break - they're getting paid aren't they?

(Not interested in their actual hol as long as it isn't overly long)

Anonymous said...

I would be very interested to know where Theresa Villiers is going on holiday and where she's been on holiday during her lifetime.

As she wants to deny holidays to others, she should be more than happy to reveal all.

niconoclast said...

How is it not our business when we are paying for these parastic freeloaders?I think the bastards should be elctronically tagged.

Anonymous said...

The details asked for seems intrusive, but I think it would be fait to ask MPs how much of the break they will be spending working and how much of it will be actual holiday. Who knows they could come out of that quite well..

Unsworth said...

Excellent example of the sort of piss-poor desk research which passes for 'journalism' at the Daily Telegraph these days.

These 'journalists' are all going to die prematurely as a direct result of sitting on their arses in front of screens all day.

As you indicate, Iain, anyone with any backbone would simply tell these cretins to piss off. Not too sure that applies to MPs, of course as most seem to entirely lacking in courage, sense, etc.

I'm well capable of asking my MP for these details, and I'm really not that interested in what other MPs get up to in this lengthy holiday.

Ian said...

Awww damn, I thought it was actually about wife beating and I had a brilliant answer to that headline question.

To be fair to them, you did set a survey up earlier asking whether we'd used cocaine :)

("Not recently enough" was my answer to the headline by the way)

cjcjc said...

Were they taking the 25 days my firm allows, I would agree.

Heaven forfend we should make any demands of them, the poor put-upon delicate little flowers...

Bill Quango MP said...

I have given a full and frank reply to the Telegraph already.

How do MPs spend their holiday?

Irfan Ahmed said...

When was the last time you had sex? And how enjoyable was it on a scale of 1-10?

They forgot that question!

Anonymous said...

Two weeks on Brecqhou, anyone?

Knut said...

niconoclast: We also pay the salaries of teachers, doctors, nurses, police etc. How does that entitle us to ask them where they spend their holidays?

Anonymous said...

It's stupid journalism like this that will accelerate the demise of the printed press.

Why would I want to pay 90p a day to read such cr*p?

Stevo Bevo said...

If I were an MP, I'd reply:

"I shall be taking a camping holiday this summer on a delightful little island I've found in the Channel called Brecqhou. However, it won't all be a holiday. As part of my commitment to the rehabilitation of offenders, I shall be bringing 20 young lads from my local Young Offenders Institution. I think it'll do them the world of good to be able to run wild on an island where they can let off some steam.

Yours faithfully..."

Stevo Bevo said...

Damn you, Anonymous, and your quicker typing.

cabalamat said...

"Taking care not to insert the F word in front of business."

I disagree with this part of Iain's advice.

If I was an MP I would ask the same question of the Telegraph's proprietor, editor and editorial staff, and tell them they are hypocrites if they refuse to answer.

Joe Public said...

Thank you for highlighting this stupid "survey".

Torygraph is in danger of eradicating the goodwill it created when it revealed the troughing.

The Grim Reaper said...

I suggest a Devil's Kitchen style response, interspersed with some parliamentary expenses style redactions. A suitable reply to the request would be:

Dear [journalist name goes here],
Do your own research. Now, ████ off, you interfering █████.

Mirtha Tidville said...

Is anyone suprised at this crap, when the editor is a mate of Ed Balls........(wonder if he would.....nah)

JMB said...

Perhaps someone should send a similar EMail to every Daily Telegraph staff EMail address that they can find.

Caron said...

What a cheek! MPs have the right to take their holidays and if they claimed back all the time they had worked over and above the average working week they put in, then they'd probably be entitled to take the entire 12 weeks off.

I hope all MPs boycott this - there are some things that we really don't have the right to know.

Colin said...

Maybe, after a few amendments they could send this questionnaire to the weirdo's who own the telegraph?

Anonymous said...

Wow that's madness I don't normally swear when writing but they should F off

Tom said...

It is unlikely that the lazy useless bunch of thieving spongers will answer but good on the Telegraph for exposing what a complete incompetent lot they are.

Lady Finchley said...

This was not the first one - 38 degrees, a new pressure group formed by St Anita Roddick's widower has a computer generated one on its website in which you insert your postcode and it goes to your MP. Same intrusive questions - this happened a few days before recess. When I asked one of the whips how to respond his answer was a hoot! Enough is enough. I am now boycotting the Torygraph.

dmk said...

The Telegraph seem to have had an attack of swine hubris following their expenses stories. They seem to have forgotten that every single bit of dirt they once held on MP's is now in the public domain, so they can't threaten them any more.

Bet they run a story on 'MPs refuse to answer questions on holidays'.

In Contempt of Parliament said...

It's a trick! A trick, I tell you!

They're obviously planning a follow up to this story. A few MYOFB's would make a brilliant contrast to the official statements in support of this highly personal intrusion.

Once again, the politicians demand to know our business, but it's a totally different story when we ask them the questions.

Yes, you're quite right. It's none of anybody's business where anybody else goes on holiday. Now someone go and tell the politicians that!