Posts Tagged ‘Kevin Pieterson’
It has to be admitted that politicians are well down the list of our codger’s favourite people. Their tendency to say one thing and do another is irritating, their tendency to put their snouts into the public purse whilst preaching austerity even more so. Today we have yet another example of this in the news of a row between the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa) and HMRevenue and Customs.
Ipsa is defending the right of MPs to employ a professional to fill in expenses forms and tax returns and is insisting that the cost -up to £5000 pa for each MP – should be tax deductable. The taxman is not unreasonably pointing out that everyone else has to meet such costs should they feel that the task of filling in forms is not their idea of excitement. John Mann, the MP for Bassetlaw, is one of a handful of MPs who takes umbrage at snouts in troughs and yesterday lashed out at the watchdog which was set up in the wake of the expenses scandal. “It is not the role of this supposedly independent body to challenge the role of the taxmen. Everyone else has to abide by their rules, so why doesn’t Ipsa?”. Good question John, the answer is that the bulk of our elected believe that they are fully entitled to feather their own nests at the expense of those who elected them.
They also come to believe that they are unique, examples of the hardest working men and women in the land. Proof of this will come in September when a group of five Conservative MPs will publish ‘Britannia Unchained’. The Brits, they say, are “amongst the worst idlers of the world”. It seems that most of us prefer a “lie in to hard work”. What research lies behnd such claims is unclear, one wonders if they have ever spent time with a young Mum working part-time whilst juggling with the demands of small children, managing a home and coping on low income.
Probably not. Either way they should perhaps remember the old maxim about people that live in glasshouses. MPs attend their place of work for 70 of the 120 weeks since they were elected. They seem quite relaxed about earning money writing newspaper articles and undertaking other part-time work, they have no problem with finding time to travel abroad on lavish ’parliamentary studies’.
The vast majority have never done a real job in their lives, having worked for political groups or sitting politicians before joining the club themselves. Do most of them know what a real day’s work entails?
Of course there are honourable exceptions as there are everyday folk who are workshy. But in the main the simple fact is that MPs live the life of O’Riley and the masses work hard if they can find any work to work hard at.
So parliamentarians should climb down from their high-horses. As for ministers, the less said the better about the present bunch since most of them hail from a world in which a bottle of wine that costs less than £25 is regarded as really slumming it!
KP WAS NOT MISSED!
Undoubtedly the misguided folk who have a framed picture of Kevin Pieterson over the fireplace will ascribe England’s defeat by South Africa in the Test series to his absence.
They are wrong. His replacement, Jonny Bairstow, had a magnificent game at Lords. Even at his best KP could not have done better. The simple fact is that England fought hard but lost to a better team, arguably the best Test team in the world.
And let us not forget that the South African-born Pieterson was not omitted for his batting. He was rightly left out for showing rank disrespect to his team mates and treachery toward his captain.
This writer at least believes that KP should not be selected for England again.
No need to remember my radio this morning for the Test Match is over. Throughout the duration of every game Test Match Special is a must, and even those unenlightened souls who are not obsessed by cricket enjoy listening to the mixture of commentary, anecdotes, stories of cakes and occasional gaffes. Of course the greatest of the latter was Brian Johnston’s reaction to Agger’s immortal line about Ian Botham ‘ failing to get his leg over’. On Tuesday it was once again the blushing Aggers who triggered convulsions. Whilst watching pictures of Kevin Pieterson adjusting his bat handle, Aggers remarked that “It’s not easy putting a rubber on, is it Michael”. With Phil Tufnell alongside Michael Vaughan it was no surprise that once again convulsive laughter stopped play.
On the allotment we all enjoyed that. Come to think about it we’ve enjoyed much of what we’ve heard on the news recently. In fact we have decided to run a sweepstake on the number of about-turns performed by Agger’s fellow Etonian, the prime minister. I’ve drawn 8. The calculation ends on Novbember 1st and I reckon that I’m in with a chance. Of course agreeing what is or isn’t an about-turn can be difficult but we have unanimity on 5 so far.
The fifth emerged yesterday when Justice Secretary, snoozer Clarke, was forced by Number 10 to abandon a plan to give rapists, and other serious offenders, a 50% discount in return for early guilty pleas. Just weeks ago Kenneth Clarke announced that the policy was agreed but Andrew Cooper, the new PR guru in place of the departed former editor of the News of the World, advised Cameron that the Tory brand was being damaged.
Just days earlier Cameron, under pressure from Clegg, in effect dismantled Lansley’s NHS plans which now face rewriting and resubmission to parliament. A few weeks ago the Caroline Spelman plan to sell off the forests met a similar fate, as did the plans announced to make anyone unemployed for more than twelve months lose 10% of their housing benefit. And then there was Cameron’s conversion to interventionalism in foreign civll wars.
Working for this prime minister must in some ways be worse that serving under Grumpy Gordon. He used to decide everything, Cameron leaves his team to dream their dreams and to announce them. He then has private polls of public opinion carried out and, probably, reads the Rupert Murdoch line before deciding whether to step in and stop the whole shebang. You could reasonably say that he makes more screaming U-turns than a getaway driver without a satnav!
The amazing thing is that Ed Miliband seems incapable of even scoring a point as one ministerial humiliation follows another. In the House yesterday the two bickered and threw insults but one was left worrying at the thought of either of them being in charge of a town hall, let alone a country.
But there is a mounting opposition to the saga and it rests on the Conservative backbenches. Several broke cover yesterday in defence of their right wing heroes such as Clarke and Lansley. But the protests could become politically dangerous should the Conservatives begin to reap some of the blame for what is happening. Fortunately for the PM that is not likely so long as the human punchbag called Nick is happy to take the punishment.
My own view is that ‘Dave’ should carry on having his ministers dangle off the gangplank. Just three more and I could be fifty quid in pocket. Should be easy for him for practice makes perfect!
ANSWERS TO YESTERDAY’S EGGHEADS QUIZ; 1. Its star’s John Challis (Boycie) 2. Philadelphia 3. Hilary 4. Dolly and Cissy 5. Eddie Brown’s 6. Darrin Stephens (Bewitched) 7. North Tanton 8. Paul Shane 9. Mrs Polouvicka 10. Bernard Hedges