Saturday, 16th May, 2009.

The Disease Strikes
Wales!

          This week has brought us some very
scary news.   The fever which has struck
Mother England has manifested itself in
Wales.

          The Shadow Welsh Secretary, Cheryl
Gillan, has fiddled – whoops, sorry! – accidentally claimed an expense for
feeding her doggie.   I have not heard or
read her statement about this easily-made error.   After all, it is good that we all treat dumb
animals properly, whatever their political colour.

          Mind you, I hear that both her dogs
have died.

          I’ll lay odds, though, that she has “broken
no rules” (especially the ones MPs have made for themselves) or that she made “a
genuine mistake” (MPs lead such stressful lives and can’t be expected to
remember everything).

          However, if my information (from a
totally unreliable source) she is going to pay our cash back and her stress was
caused by a mix-up between her, the gas company and the Fees Office.   Aaah – the poor girl.   Perhaps she needs to take a long break from
MPing – perhaps the Electorate will give her that twelve months from now!

 

And It’s Spreading!

          Kevin Brennan was reported to be
suffering from the same disease (the medical term is “greed”) this week.   In case you live in Cardiff West, I have to
inform you that he’s your MP.  (Yes, I
know you don’t see him walking along the street or in the shops, but he has
been known to visit the Constituency.)

          Not content with a great fat lump of
tax-payers’ money as a salary, Mr. Brennan claimed for a telly which arrived at
his home in
Wales instead of his digs in London.

          But he’s a quick thinker, is our
Kevin, and worked out right away why it happened.   It was a simple case of putting it in
Wales where it could be stored and then
taken up to
London.   Pardon?!

          I reckon it was an error on the part
of those dreadful working-class oiks who drive the delivery vans.   Can’t trust the underpaid louts, can you,
Mr. Brennan?

          And there’s the difference between MPs
and the rest of us:  being on such a
large wage (voted for by themselves), they forget how we who are not rich are
under stress and so it’s easy for us to get mixed up between places like
London and Wales.

          Welsh President Dafydd Elis-Thomas has
been quoted as saying about the incident: 
I just don’t know what they thought they were doing, and that
they thought they could ever get away with it."   Well said, President Elis-Thomas
– you seem to be in touch with those of us ordinary people.

On A Brighter Note

          All
this news of
Westminster
fiddlers came in the very week in which the cups of tea flowed like wine as we
celebrated the tenth anniversary of our glorious Assembly!

          I
can do no better than agree with President Elis-Thomas when he said that our
Senedd has tried so hard not to behave like the
Westminster
crew.   We in
Wales will soon
be able, he expects, to have a look at all our AMs expense claims online.

          And,
before you mail me about the title I use for Dafydd Elis-Thomas, I know he’s
called “The Presiding Officer”.   I’m
just practicing for the day when we elect our own Head of State.

 

And There’s More!

          Whilst
writing the above comments, there has been much, much more breaking news on the
same subject.   Even
dear old Lembit has been accused of fiddling.  
You’d have thought he wouldn’t be so cheeky.

          Now,
corruption in the House of Lords – alleged bribery – has joined the whole nasty
mêlée.

          If
I tried to keep up with it all, I’d never be able to comment on the whole
shebang in one short week!

          Please,
please, dear reader, do not lose your entire faith in those for whom we vote.   Our Assembly Members are contactable by us
voters.   There are still MPs who are not
corrupt.   And, next year when we go to
the polls, make sure that you have sussed out each candidate’s morals before
you place your cross.

Archie Lowe

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About Archie Lowe

Though not born in Wales, I have lived and worked here for many years now. I love the place and love that mercurial thing "Welshness". I have been accused of being "a Taffophile" - which is pretty near the truth. The question I ask whenever some idea comes up for the whole of the UK is: "What's in it for Wales". I believe in an independent Wales and am so pleased that our Assembly is a big step on that road.
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