There was just a huge meeting in the Grimond Room with staff and Frank
Doran MP head of the Admin Committee. Feelings were running very high and
you would be surprised at the amount of Tories there – well bred secretaries who
had worked at the House for 20 years or more – they were among the most
vehement. Doran was totally useless and reminded us that this place was
for the MPs at which he received heckles. One asked the ‘honorable
member’ if he was aware of the opprobrium this brought on MPs when their
standing with the public has never been lower. Our reps are now having
meeting with the Admin Committee but there will be no backing
political commentator * author * publisher * bookseller * radio presenter * blogger * Conservative candidate * former lobbyist * Jack Russell owner * West Ham United fanatic * Email iain AT iaindale DOT com
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Secretaries of the World Unite!
Yesterday there was a meeting between the House of Commons secretaries and researchers and the Administraion Committee which proposed the controversial new rules of giving MP's 'precedence' in lunch queues etc. Here's what my spy told me...
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"... the 'most vehement' for what, Iain?
For or against?
Perhaps Iain would be good enough, over time, to tell us of those MPs who decently take their place in the queue and of others who brusquely push past the proles like Soviet style apparachiks.
This move reflects the government attitude that there are rules for us but different rules for them. They have no idea about the real world. In my company everyone takes their turn. in fact I normally stand aside for my staff to go in front of me as I need them more than they need me. This government could do to remember that.
If it was a bunch of public sector workers screeching at a Tory MP Iain would be doing his nut. Still, one rule for some...
Guido's moderating his comments again. When do you think we can expect another lecture on freedom of speech in China from him?
Perhaps the secretaries and researchers could tell MP's that the chamber of the House of Commons is for MP's - they can queue barge all the ylike in there. The rest of the Palace of Westminster is for the machinery of government, of which the MP's form only a part and, taken individually, in most cases a very small part.
anonymous: actually, the vast majority of MPs do decently take their place in the queue in my experience- it's a minority of self-important backbenchers and 'young turks' who who are the offenders here.
The other day a friend of mine was waiting for a lift- a Shadow Cabinet person graciously held the doors open for her only for an obscure junior Whip inside to throw her out.
This comment is from Recess Monkey:
"MPs are often in rush to do certain things on behalf of their constituents (eg sit in select committees/public bill committees, attend the chamber, table questions or amendments, participate in debates in Wesminster Hall) which their staff, however (self-) important, can’t do on their behalf. That’s why they should take priority."
I'm not sure any MP would dare queuejump after the ballyho these new rules have caused. They'd find their name splashed all over the blogs and media on some sort of blacklist. Not that i'd mind.
The Wobbler - thanks for bringing this pompous comment from Recess Monkey to our attention.
What has all this alleged rushing about to select committees got to do with trying to queue jump the lunch or tea queue? MPs have their own exclusive facilities, so let them use those or wait their turn like everyone else.
This is absolute arrogance from a number of people widely despised by the public for being useless, bumptious, sponging, layabouts with their snouts in the trough.
Some of these types are going to find life very hard after the election when they're back out in the dole queue.........
I HATE queue jumpers! I was waiting at a counter in a supermarket with me ticket, and a wifey who had buggered off somewhere and missed her turn thought she could saunter to the head of the queue! Wrong. Me being me usual tactful self said -very loudly- 'what do you think you're doing you rude b*tch!' Rude woman went scarlet and buggered off whilst rest of queue clapped. I think a few of these MP's require slapping down.
Why if they are rushing off to committee or the Chamber are they rushing off to buy coffee - you munch in the Chamber. What utter ballocks!
All Frank Doran MP spoke about at the meeting was reviews, committees, reports and recommendations... what a bore.
No wonder the country is such a mess if that's the way a minor few problems in the running of the Commons are approached by MPs and the authorities.
What a waste!!!
If MPs are so busy that they need to jump queues in the bars, what are they doing in the bars?
This is not Ruritania. This is England.
In an era when perception is everything I would have thought that even the most sozzled, pampered, frotted and bj'd monkey with a blue/red/yellow rosette would realise that this is a bad PR move.
I hope the secs sharpen their knives and remind the offending Members that they know who is shagging who and they better calm down or wives and girlfriends (or both) will be informed.
And by the way, here is yet another example of what a total tosser RECESS MONKEY is. An execrable leech and ultracrepidarian. Really Iain, I don't know why you give him house room.
Heaven help us! Excuse me but is this really the most important matter of interest - who gets first to the doughnuts?
Some would call it petty.
Anon @ 1:23,
Yes, it is petty. But very illustrative of ther mindset of those who, if you care to examine matters, are nothing but the representatives of their constituents. They aren't some sort of blessed elite, they have no divinely derived powers and they don't deserve special privileges.
They certainly don't merit the right to barge to the front of queues simply because they can kiss babies and pin a rosette to themselves without drawing blood. And as to Recess Monkey's assertion. Surely if an MP cannot arrange his time sufficiently well to be able to buy a cup of coffee between appointments without acting like a complete tit, then I'd say that he probably isn't fit to represent anybody let alone scrutinise the affairs of state.
Yes, Anon 1:23 - it is petty, petty of them to think themselves so important that they have to jump queues in what are essentially staff establishments.
Again, for the uninitiated or just plain thick, 600 odd MPs have three of their own restaurants, a tea room and their own post office - yet they want to take precedence in ours - which must accommodate the few thousand staff - not just MP's staff but House of Commons Staff - the ones that make this place happen.
To quote the Who - 'we ain't gonna take it, never did and never will.'
Anon 8:31 - Shows how ill-informed you are - several Tories were on the committee including a Tory Whip. Doran happens to be the Chairman so he is in the firing line. Iain has condemned this from the beginning so get a life, will you?
Wicked thought - as Dawn Primarolo says all middle class people are drinking far too much and "this has got to change" (presumably these MPs must be middle class because working class people don't shove other people out of the way in queues) then all the bars in the Palace of Westminster will be immediately and permanently shut so as not to put temptation in their way..........
Well, here is something I thought I would NEVER hear myself say - but maybe it is time for a 'work to rule' by commons staff?
Up the revolution, brethren!
Let's see how well the members do when they have to lick their own stamps, answer their phones, post their own mail and wipe their own arses!
Good post. Liked it.
If Ming Campbell could be persuaded to go for the Speakership, perhaps these constant own goals by the Commons (queue-barging edicts; FoI exemption etc) may be stopped or at least minimised? I see that the BBC is floating the idea too:
Commons Confidential: October2007
By Nick Assinder
Political correspondent, BBC News website
Despatches from the House of Commons 1300 GMT, TUESDAY 16 OCTOBER
The prime minister was quick to offer his support for his friend Sir Menzies Campbell after his resignation as Liberal Democrat leader, declaring: "I'm sure he will continue to make a major contribution to public life."
But what might that role be? How about Speaker of the Commons?
Sir Menzies was widely tipped as a possible successor to Betty Boothroyd when she stood down and was eventually replaced after an unprecedented election - some said shambles - by Michael Martin in 2000.
Ming was defeated on that occasion - along with 10 others - but, with some mutterings that Speaker Martin must be nearing the end of his tenure (it is entirely up to him when he goes but he has now served virtually as long as his recent predecessors) his name has started circulating again.
He certainly has the weight, experience and - dare I say it, age - for the job and would without doubt command the respect of all parties and MPs, essential qualities in the post.
No one, of course, has yet asked Sir Menzies or, perhaps more importantly, Speaker Martin, what they think of the idea.
I don't suppose spies want hat tips Iain but other bloggers would probably appreciate that courtesy.
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