Thursday, July 17, 2008

Taxi!

a London Black Cab For some reason Ilford North parliamentary constituency has a rather high percentage of resident Taxi drivers. There are three in the road where I live but for years I could never find one to take me home late at night. This is because I got off the tube at Gants Hill where the taxi rank was always empty not knowing that all the cabs were round the corner in Cranbrook Road outside Faeces nightclub.

In 1997 the sitting MP Vivian Bendall had a barney with challenger, and winner, Linda Perham over who knew most about "the knowledge" – all a bit redundant now that Range Rover man has got Satnav.

Anyway to the point. Brian Coleman, Conservative London Assembly member is reported to have racked up £8 grand in expenses on taxis despite also claiming £1,700 for a travel card. At least one local leading Tory is spitting blood. Contrast with our own Assembly Member, Roger Evans, who likes to walk, does not own a car and uses public transport.

Today is also the day when Conservative MPs get to have their expenses exposed to the great unwashed. Seven have missed the deadline. Our own MP, Lee Scott, has always been up front on this, but if you want to see the details they are here. The PDF file is for MPs R-Z so you will need to scroll down a bit or use the search binoculars.

There are already comments on the blogosphere about MPs "giving their wives pay outs of between thirty and forty thousand pounds a year". It is true that Mrs Scott is Lee’s secretary, which we knew before he was elected, but not at those rates and provided a spouse is qualified and does the job, what’s wrong with that? Lee also takes the tube to work but it would appear that unlike Mr Coleman he is not eligible for a free travel card.

17 comments:

  1. Coleman is the GLA member who represents Barnet and Camden. He is also a member of Barnet Council where he is a cabinet member.

    He rakes in the following from the public purse (all 2008-9 unless stated otherwise):


    Barnet council:

    Basic allowance £9,735
    Consolidated travel 359
    Cabinet member 17,036

    Total from Barnet £27,130


    Greater London Assembly:

    Salary £50,582
    Travelcard* 1,720
    Taxi fares* 8,231
    Foreign travel* 232
    "Other" expenses* 336

    Total from GLA: £79,101

    * figures for 2007-8


    In addition, the basic and cabinet member allowances at Barnet, and the salary at the GLA, will be liable to employer's national insurance contributions and, if he contributes to the schemes, pension contributions.

    All in all, excessive sums of money for an outrageously vain and greedy prat.

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  2. And the irony is that those who complain the most about high levels of taxation are the very people who vote in these “benefit scroungers”.

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  3. From the speed with which I receive a reply to any correspondence to Lee Scott I would say his wife does a good job as his secretary and provided she's paid a proper commercial rate, which I am led to believe is the case, I have no problem with it!.

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  4. Can I ask Henry if any response from Lee Scott MP is verbal or if it is a phone call?
    I am flattered by phone calls in reply but, then, I forget easily what was said and cannot use it for future reference. I have received emails in reply but not many.
    annesevant

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  5. Dear Anne, forgive me for being pedantic, but unless Lee uses sign language or hieroglyphics, any response will be 'verbal', ie using words.

    If you mean 'aural', he would be telephoning you and you would hear him.

    Otherwise, if you email him, he would probably respond in the same way; if he is pursuing an investigation of a case for you, or you have written to him by snailmail, it is most likely he would write letters to you.

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  6. Sorry Judith (too many irons in too many fires and I did not notice your reply).
    In fact, since this comment, Lee Scott MP has replied to me by email regarding a discussion at Westminster when some people got confused between Westminster Hall and Westminster Chamber.
    The point I was making originally(badly) is that sometimes my questions are a bit awkward and, giving me an answer in print, would mean giving a personal opinion which is not always a good idea when one is a politician. It is why, I think, it's easier to reply by phone.
    I could give an example but not in a public blog, I am not that mean!
    annesevant

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  7. Judith. Forgive me for being pedantic, but sign language is a form of verbal communication. Anne - Do you get a satisfactory response from Mr Scott, or indeed, any councillor?

    Spoofy

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  8. Dear spooky.
    I am very easy to please and, because of this blog, I have received several helpful communications (by email) and I am a much wiser person, on the political scale. Long may it last.
    annesevant
    ps: did I spell your name correctly?

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  9. Anne - No my dear, alas my alias is mispelt. Butworry not. One must not be judged by this.

    Back to the original post. Its nice to see that LBR are not the only ones to host prats, both past and present.

    SPOOF (I add a y to it to be interesting).

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  10. Spoofy - are you talking about somebody from East Yorkshire?

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  11. Anne - There are interesting people, I presume, in East Yorkshire, the same as in Redbridge. Likewise there are people that are not interesting in both locations.

    Spoofy

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  12. And people are nicer here too.
    Spoof

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  13. "here" being where the heart is?
    Or do you mean this blog?

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  14. Where the heart is. I dont know many people on here well enough to say.
    Spoof

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  15. 2007 posting. East yorkshire - rude?? Truth hurts??

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  16. All I can say to such cryptic comments is Ecky Thump!

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