Wednesday, 2 November 2022

A tale of two honourable members


Once upon a time, there were two ambitious Tory MPs, desperately trying to climb the greasy pole towards the top job. One got as far as being health secretary during a pandemic, during the course of which he managed to condemn thousands to an early death by sending them to unprepared and ill-equipped care homes, whilst doling out lucrative PPE contracts to mates and associates with no previous experience in the field. None of that could stop his inexorable rise which was, instead, halted by some CCTV footage of an illicit liaison with one of his staff. The other actually reached the very top job, and was responsible not only for appointing the first to a job for which he was woefully inadequate, but also advocated that even more bodies should be piled high in the streets. He was also partial to the occasional sexual peccadillo, and equally inadequate for the job in which he found himself, but was shameless and brazen enough to laugh, bluster and lie his way through his own failings. The last straw which brought him down was his inability to be honest about what he knew and when about the sexual peccadillos of another person whom he had appointed to a government job.

Whatever, both men, finding themselves prised out of the jobs which gave meaning to their existence, decided to bunk off from their other job – that of being an MP – and its expectation that they might serve their constituents as well as turning up for the occasional parliamentary vote, and seek their fortune elsewhere. The first signed up for reality TV (so called, apparently, because it bears no connection whatever with what 99.99% of the population would recognise as reality), whilst the other took himself off to give a lecture in the US before taking (another) luxury holiday in the Caribbean.

So far, so similar: but then observe the reaction. The first became the subject of much opprobrium from his former colleagues, even losing the whip, whilst over 100 of those same colleagues (allegedly – the counting skills of a man who appears less than entirely certain about the number of his own progeny must necessarily be treated with considerable caution) welcomed the second back with open arms as some sort of prodigal son. Given that the basic offence committed by both is the same (abandoning their constituents during term time to seek rewards elsewhere), the differing responses of their party seem rather strange. It could be, of course, that ‘Matt’* simply went to the wrong school, which failed to inculcate a sufficient sense of brazen indifference and/or allow him to make all the right connections. Alternatively, it could simply be that his colleagues look down on a man who accepted a few thousand for some pretty degrading activities and prefer the chutzpah of ‘Boris’* who apparently charged $150,000 for giving a 30 minute speech, the basic premise of which was that his chaotic period in office made him some sort of expert in global issues. Perhaps it was neither, and was all down to good old Tory values, under which milking one’s position to extract vast sums on false pretences from unsuspecting Americans is simply more acceptable than the public consumption of marsupial genitalia for a comparative pittance. About the only thing of which we can be certain is that neither response had much to do with lokking after the needs and interests of the men’s constituents.

(*Some names have not been changed to protect the guilty)

1 comment:

dafis said...

Problems such as these 2 indifferent arrogant wankers could be solved by just paying an attendance allowance instead of salary. Take present salary + a % for pension and divide by 44weeks x 5days. It still leaves a loophole for those who check in at 11.00 a.m and don't return after lunch but would ensure that jokers like Boris and Matt don't draw pay when pursuing other interests. Failure to attend for at least say 40 x 5 should lead to other sanctions - like stocks for skivers? I appreciate that the problem is far more deep seated but asking that House to sort out its own members is unlikely to produce any kind of satisfactory result.