Newsnight tonight

I have just watched Newsnight. I didn't take notes, so this is from memory.

The three-way discussion between Shaun Woodward, Helena Kennedy and David Steele kind of got close to being informative. I particularly found Helena Kennedy's pitch worthy of reporting here. The gist of what she said was that the Parliamentary Expenses issue can be linked to a socio-cultural headlong dive into crass materialism, and that the root of the problem was a consequence of a belief in keeping up with our neighbours. She said that MPs, most of whom went to university, would see those outwith Westminster as having bigger salaries and better things. She linked it with the way mortgage lenders gave loans to unsuitable borrowers because of a general belief in acquisition as being essentially a good thing. (Curiously the entire New Labour drive to get us out of recession is predicated on us spending more!)

I was quite surprised to hear her say this, mainly because it is true and because it goes against the policy of her party, which is to get us to spend more.

I also learned that the Scottish Parliament has total transparency on expenses, all of which have to be published. (This is yet another reason why I think Scotland is pulling away from the rest of the UK in its political evolution)

Shaun Woodward has been criticised for his office ordering Crunch Corners and Pizzas from ASDA, but he appears to have some honour, for he does not claim his full ministerial salary. He actually managed to look contrite.

I am not sure about David Steel.

1 comment:

molecatcher said...

I must admit I've never taken to David Steel. Takes himself a bit too seriously. Loves all the ceremonial stuff associated with the Scottish Parliament. And that big castle he has in the borders is way over the top.