May 13th, 2009

conflict, guernica, war

Today's Big News?

Shot UK soldier dies in hospital

So, let me get this straight. We send some soldiers to a war zone and one of them gets shot and dies.

OK, it's sad for his friends and family, but it's not really entirely surprising is it?

So, why is this big news? I'm sure there must have been lots of afghans die too, why not report about each one of them individually too?

If we're going to stick our oar into another countries politics and go in all guns blazing to enforce regime change, because we'd really like Osama Bin Ladens head on a stick, then surely it a forgone conclusion that some people aren't going to be happy with us doing this and might actually shoot back?
politics, london calling

MPs and their homes

Something really bizarre occured this morning. I was listening to the radio and found myself agreeing with something Anne Widdecombe said. I'm hoping I'm going to recover soon.

There's been a lot of coverage about the MPs second housing thing lately, and it seems clear that some of them have manipulated the system. Not really surprising as people do that whatever the system is.

However, the point made this morning was that this system is there for a very good reason. MPs clearly need to reside both in their constituency and near parlament. In a lot of cases, this is clearly going to require a second house, which needs to be paid for somehow.

From what I gather of the situation, a certain amount of money has been put in a big pot to cover this. How it gets distributed doesn't then effect how much the tax payers have paid, so they're not really steeling tax payers money instead they're cheating their colleagues out of it by not letting it be distributed fairly. OK, still not ideal, but not quite what the torygraph seem to be making it out to be.

OK, people like David Cameron may have lots of money and may not actually technically need anything additional to fund a second home, but it's important that this isn't a pre-requisite for being an MP. It needs to be feasible for people to stand for parliament no matter what their financial background, otherwise we risk a situation of the government being entirely represented by the rich.

There needs to be some system in place for this therefore and however much anamosity we may feel towards them at times MPs are people and need to have the freedom to live the way they choose.

It seems very silly to waste more money going back through all the transactions that have been made over the past 4 years to see which are valid and which aren't. Why not just draw a line over it, say "what's done is done" and then work out a new system that can be implemented more fairly.

To me, the most sensible thing is to say that any MP who's consistuency is over x miles from London and therefore clearly can't commute should get an allowance of £y to cover a second home to spend as they wish.

Therefore, Mr Cyril Sneer MP for somewhere a long long way from London, would get his £y and if he wanted to spend it on filling his current house floor to ceiling with sofas, that would be up to him, but that would be all he would get to fund a second home.