Friday, November 18, 2005
He Is Not The Only One
Pro-war bloggers cannot hide their glee as news of George Galloway's extra-parliamentary earnings come to light. But what about the other MPs who use their positions as our elected representatives to feather their own nests? There is no denying that Galloway- in particular for asking for fees of between £5ooo and £10000 for appearances on the BBC, has left himself open to charges of hypocrisy. But to paraphrase the title of his recently published biography: He Is Not the Only One. Anne 'Doris Karloff' Widdecombe obtained (I again won't use the word 'earned') £240,000 on top of her MPs earnings last year- far more than her immeasurably more talented namesake received- in today's money- for his stirring portrayal of Frankenstein in 1931. William Hague gained a grand total of one seat for the Conservatives in the 2001 election- and is rewarded with- yup- a jackpot of £1m a year with publishers falling over themselves to offer him book contracts. And self-styled urban radical Dianne Abbott doesn't do too badly either-- with an extraparliamentary income of £85,000. What the register of MPs interests shows us is that the big political divide in Britain today is not between Labour and Conservative- but Britain's political elite and the rest of us.