Home secretary Jacqui Smith is a bit embarrassed because someone has leaked an expenses claim for her home broadband.
The main embarrassment, and source of the outrage, being two "additional features" which is apparently a euphemism for adult films.
MPs are entitled to claim for cable TV and broadband packages, if they are of benefit to the carrying out of their duties. While the basic package, including news channels, could be argued to be within this remit, pay-per-view films are not. Ocean’s 13 is no more relevant to Mrs Smith’s duties than the two controversial features. The claim for the two "additional features" are in my mind no more controversial than the other 3 films on that claim.
Yes, I can understand that to Jacqui, her husband’s choice of viewing may be, to put it mildly, deeply unpopular. But that should be a matter for them.
Sadly, I find it all too plausible that this claim was as a result of Jacqui Smith bungling her expenses paperwork, rather than an attempt to cynically cream money through expenses. And to be honest that lack of attention to detail in a home secretary is much more worrying than getting someone to pay for your PPV films.
I’ve heard this bandied about, with no sense of what it means other than being a term of abuse used by those who should know better.
But maybe I have a variant of it.
After similar ideas were expressed in Scotland, Sir Liam Donaldson has suggested minimum prices for alcohol at 50p per unit. The government disagreed, saying it would
BBC news said under Sir Liam’s plan it would be £1 for a can or bottle of beer, and £4.50 for a bottle of wine. And this left me thinking, “Well that’s alright then.”
They went on to show a picture of a pub, with people drinking implying that it would hurt pub drinkers, and I was left thinking “How?” If anything this will help pubs compete with bargain drink from the supermarkets- as I can’t imagine any pub needing to raise prices to comply with this.
But this is where my guilt kicks in, because these measures would not affect me one bit. My only objection is in terms of price fixing and meddling in the markets.
I can’t comprehend the argument that this measure punishes anyone responsible, being it just takes out of the market extremely low quality booze, drunk more for the alcohol content than the taste.
I drink about 4 units of alcohol a week. I can’t remember when I last bought a cheep multi-pack of beer. I don’t remember buying alcoholic drink for the intoxicating effects rather than the flavour.
Am I a middle class snob? Or just someone with a sense of perspective, who’s sat down and done the sums? That probably depends on where you are coming from.
I do feel guilt at judging cheap booze that is enjoyed by so many as not worth keeping.
… the debating technique where people try and discredit you and, shut down your line of argument etc, by pretending you’ve been rude, abusive or insulting when all you’ve done is criticise their arguments and explain why they’re wrong?
Please write to your MP and get them to support EDM 754.
The motion comes after a kerfuffle between respected scientist and quackbuster Ben Goldacre and the LBC after their presenter had a debate on MMR. Well I say debate, she was rude to anyone who wasn’t anti-vaccine. She treated an entirely polite nurse as a vicious bully.
There is too much shallow sensationalist reporting of scientifically related stories in the media, and this needs to be talked about.
The EDM has 97 signatories at present, but is lacking in those from the Conservative benches.
This is important, write to them via theyworkforyou.com