Monday, August 9, 2010

Welcome to the real world

Pretty much anywhere you go now involving public services or receptions dealing with the public such as doctors and dentists, you'll see a small (sometimes not so small) sign stating that the staff their are not there to be abused and action will be taken against those who do so.
Seems our troughing MP's have now run into a similar system at Westminster over the new expenses scheme and the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority.


Staff at the new MPs’ expenses quango created a football-style system of red and yellow cards for politicians who were rude to them. 
Officials working for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority have had to endure shouted insults and threats of legal action from MPs angry at the strict rules now imposed on their parliamentary allowances.
IPSA employees put up a sign stating that “abuse of staff will not be tolerated” after they were repeatedly harangued by members complaining that they had not been paid money they were owed, or that old entitlements had been withdrawn following last year’s scandal. 
It has now emerged that under Nigel Gooding, IPSA’s original operations director – who left “for the sake of my health and sanity” earlier this summer – staff also devised a system similar to that used in football to deal with misconduct.
Under the unofficial scheme, any MPs who were rude to staff in telephone conversations or face-to-face meetings would be given a warning – equivalent to a “yellow card” caution.
Those who were deemed guilty of repeated or particularly serious verbal abuse would be restricted to communicating in writing with IPSA staff – a “red card” – rather than being allowed to argue with them in person or on the phone.
“Having an email trail makes it hard for people to deny what’s been said,” a Whitehall source told The Daily Telegraph.
It is believed that under the old expenses system, exposed by this newspaper, some MPs would ring different members of the Fees Office staff until they found one willing to agree to their demands.
A spokesman for IPSA denied a card system of warnings and punishments had been in operation but admitted: “It’s fair to say some MPs have been more forthright in expressing frustrations than others.”
Well if MP's are looking for sympathy, I doubt they'll get any from the public most of us who do have to claim any sort of expenses and the staff at IPSA have my sympathy as they are only trying to do their jobs and keep MP's honest (never an easy task). MP's if anything have it easy when it comes to claims, they are on a good salary and can claim for stuff that the rest of us could only dream about, second mortgages, furniture for second residences etc. They are also subsidised by the taxpayer in their restaurants and bars too, many also hold down second sources of income via non executive directorships which gives the companies involved access to parliament via the back door too.
In short MP's should put up and shut up, the system is designed to keep them honest and if they can't live within their means then perhaps they should be in another job, not that they'd ever find anywhere else as cushy, save perhaps the EU parliament. They brought this upon themselves and they only have themselves to blame. The majority seem to have abused the old system, sometimes to excess, the public view them as a bunch of lying thieves and their status in society has never been lower, perhaps a degree of silence and remorse might have done some good, as it is, they are showing themselves to be the same as ever.
If I'd had my way not one MP who'd abused the system would have been allowed to stand for parliament or public service ever again, many would have been charged and if found guilty ended up in prison. That's how seriously the business was, they robbed the public, the taxpayer. If they carry on like this, they'll think the last outburst over their expenses was a storm in a teacup.

2 annotations:

The Filthy Engineer said...

Personally I think that if they gt three red cards they should be forced to stand down from parliament. Or am I being too harsh?

Quiet_Man said...

Bit generous if anything