Friday 10 July 2009

It's jam for you in MPs swap fest

Given the bee crisis, and the financial one - I like the style of the business development company the D Group in paying Michael Jack MP for a speech with a jar of honey, as revealed in the latest filing, under the new rules, of MPs' second jobs.
If this is the nature of things to come, I look forward to other payments/swapping arrangements for MPs' services rendered in these straitened economic times, perhaps Michael Gove would be happy with a jar of lemon curd every week for his column in The Times, and the BBC might offer MPs who choose to take part in Any Questions a veggie box to tuck under their arm.
In fact Radio 4 programmes might be able to swap stuff amongst themselves to entice guests on to their programmes, keeping costs low. So perhaps the tillers of the soil from Gardeners' Question Time could provide the food and flowers for Any Questions guests, and maybe the Food Programme has some excellent fodder in their larder which could also be useful to entice guests over to Shepherd's Bush or any other far-flung BBC studios for other shows. Such a pity that excellent show Veg Talk has disappeared, one feels they might well have had some Jerusalem artichokes to donate to the pile.
Shadow Commons leader Alan Duncan has declared he received £222 for his last appearance on Any Questions, but I bet he would be just as happy with a trio of jars of homemade jams.
And since shadow communities secretary Caroline Spelman appeared too - but it took her longer to do the research and preparation - she deserves four jars at least, or maybe a homemade lemon cake.
John Reid MP received a watch for a trip to Bahrain - yes, times are a changing, so the swap fest goes on.
Scrutinising this new register of members' interests is going to be fascinating, readers, as it reveals not only MPs' second jobs, but also how long they estimate it takes them to do each task.
It took Caroline Spelman five and a half hours to do "Any Questions" but Alan Duncan only one hour. One assumes Mrs Spelman felt she had to do some research before she arrived, and that Mr Duncan was confident he knew all the answers already. Oh what joy it must be to know so much. I'd swap a great deal to have a memory like that.
(For the record Michael Jack also received a tie and a book for his D Group appearance. Excellent work Mr Jack.)

1 comment:

Robert said...

While we play silly F*ckers our lads are dying in Afghanistan for the lack of equipment, we have just been told we are moving equipment to the front line by using Lorries while the correct way in a modern war is by helicopter.

One dead person because we have no equipment is one too many..