Time for a chat with MP?

PUBLISHED: 12:09 03 June 2009 | UPDATED: 23:36 15 June 2010

Let's not be too hard on our Member of Parliament for reportedly spending £1.49 on a packet of brass screws (not bought in a Honiton shop to help keep local trade alive, I imagine) and not get totally mortified" her own expression

Let's not be too hard on our Member of Parliament for reportedly spending £1.49 on a packet of brass screws (not bought in a Honiton shop to help keep local trade alive, I imagine) and not get "totally mortified" - her own expression - about less than £100,000 spent on 'staffing' costs and below £8,000 on travel (including her hubby). And let us note that £22,876 spent on accommodation may be higher than many of the Westminster men such as Ken Clarke, David Davies and Bob Marchall-Andrews. But it is £210 below the members' maximum regularly mentioned in The Telegraph this merry Maytime. Let us remember that long ago Honiton, or so I have read, used to be one of the most corrupt boroughs in England. MPs used to 'purchase' votes from the ne'er-do-wells at £2 a time. After the hustings, the pubs would be full of people spending their 'thank you' money. And all would be happy then because everyone benefited.We have moved on from such corrupt practices. Now Honourable Members have properly agreed that we give a different sort of gift to them, for services rendered. Unlike the past, this is not a 'party' thing - they themselves agreed the rules but felt it was best if we did not know their expenses claims.The result is that we, the voters, are no longer corrupted by free drinks. Instead our pleasure is to know that we have contributed towards an apartment in Pimlico from where one could perhaps cycle to Parliament to impress the party leader.And, when standing down, Honourable Members are not forgotten as once in the past. Now they are decently treated - they are, after all, not Woolworths' employees. They have agreed we shall grant them up to £30,000 annual pension. Also they agreed we give them something called a resettlement grant of up to £65,000 to help them to move or retire to somewhere more peaceful.They also agreed a mysterious 'winding-up allowance' of over £40,000. Is it to wind-up those troublesome voters who disapprove? Or is it to say "thanks and goodbye" and buy the generous and trusting punters drinks all round - just like the good old days, but without any hint of wrongdoing? It would be good to meet up and chat with the Hon Member about to leave.Personally, I would like to have the meeting with her constituents in Mackarness Hall, Honiton. Wouldn't it be nice to have a full hall for the 'chat'?A SmithAshleigh RoadHoniton

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