Saturday, 20 June 2009

Unacceptable Claims by an MP

Following on from yesterday's blog, I wrote that a couple of years ago our MP sent out a letter to many constituents including me. I may still have my copy as I tend to keep political leaflets, but I can summarise it briefly. She likes the western route and anyone who prefers the northern route is wrong. She enclosed an SAE for the clever people who would confirm her beliefs.

I was looking at MPs' expenses which were published for the first time today (18th June). The first thing I saw was an expenses claim for the bypass questionnaire. I find this incredible. Opposition campaigners have to pay for their own leaflets. I can't afford nicely printed leaflets and postage to present my opinions and get support from a questionnaire. However I have knocked on a lot of doors and our survey happened to support the route that is now going ahead.

In my opinion there is no doubt that her expenses for this survey were party political and designed to get her re-elected. Even if she says that it was to find out the opinions of her constituents the outcome was still that she promoted herself at a cost to the tax payer. Our MP may say that these costs were incurred solely in her role of MP. Well it is easier to argue this case than cleaning a moat or claiming for a fictitious mortgage, but I find her claims totally unacceptable. Not only do I think she had the wrong opinion but she put forward this opinion at my expense. If there is any local issue that you will not find in a manifesto then presumably leaflets can be sent out by our MPs at tax payers expense.

This questionnaire has cost the tax payer thousands of pounds. My survey cost the tax payer nothing, This is the first item of expense that I saw. Let's hope there are not many more expenses that I can complain about.

Change the world


  1. Yet, most probably the expense you mention will not be questioned by the people who check these things. I got that questionnaire as well, and had no idea that we were paying to let her know our opinions. What is wrong with going round knocking on doors, or is she too important to do that because she's an MP?

  2. You're complaining because Geraldine sent out a leaflet asking for people's opinions. But finding out what people want is what MPs are SUPPOSED TO DO. Of course it isn't like moat cleaning.

    You say it cost the tax payer thousands of pounds, but if the wrong by pass gets built, that will cost the tax payer millions of pounds.

    Nobody asked you to do your own survey and pay for it yourself, so don't get all self-congratulatory about that. It's not as if your survey could really affect anything. It's just playing at being like the big boys. If the tax payers had to pay for a survey that's never going to have any effect, that would be a waste and a scandal. Anyway I think you're just jealous. Get yourself elected and then you can have your surveys paid for. Until then, stop complaining when our MP does her job.

  3. Thanks for your comments again Steven. I think we will just have to disagree on this one. If you ask anyone who knows anything about surveys then the first rule is to get the questions right. Otherwise you just get the answers that you want. Our MP failed to do this so not only did she get us to pay for her publicity, but the whole thing was a waste of time. Her results are meaningless. She may level the same charge at me but at least mine cost nothing.