Get John Humphries…..Why?
Posted Thursday, 3 April 2008 at 13:36
My phone rarely goes for longer than 30 seconds without warbling. The sound I am most looking forward to hearing once the abortion vote is over, is that of my little Blackberry's sigh as it snuggles down into its pouch for a well deserved nap.
The constant emails and calls mean that my staple diet has become that of soup in a take away container in the members' tea room, this means that at least if I have to go out of the room to take a call, I can take one of my three meals of the day with me!
Yesterday I grabbed my usual and with a silent phone, joined a table of MPs.
If ever more than two MPs are in any one place, at any one time, you can guarantee they are plotting. Plotting is the favourite pastime of all MPs. It's an indigenous fault and yesterday was no exception.
As I sat down and scalded my mouth on the boiling hot soup, a plotter said “Nadine will do it”. It was a second before I realised they were all looking at me. “What?” said I, heart sinking as I knew I didn’t really want to know the answer.
“Put in a freedom of Information request to find out how much John Humphries spends on cars, entertaining, wine, accommodation, anything, it’s the BBC, it's public money, in fact do it on all of them, Marr, Paxman, the lot.”
“No point" said I. "It may be taxpayer's money, but the request will be thrown out.”
“Ah yes, but then you appeal directly to the Commissioner, all the flack being heaped on MPs would work in your favour, accountability with regard to the spending of public money can't stop at MPs.”
I suppose he is right, accountability is a transferable commodity.
However, I won’t do it. When my twenty week campaign launches in earnest, I’m kind of hoping that nice Mr Humphries may regard it as one of the more important topics of the day and want to talk about it.
Do I want to be blacklisted by the BBC? No I don’t - I can’t. I'm trying to work on a campaign which will ensure that the collective will of the people is recognised within Westminster and effect a change to an aspect of law which does all the things I talk about every day on this site.
I need the BBC. If I rouse the dragon, I may have to spend the rest of my days in Parliament looking over my shoulders and down the corridors of power wondering when he’s going to come and get me.
So I suppose accountability is not as transferable a commodity as I thought it was. Thank goodness my soup was, as another warble necessitated another lunch stood in a corridor on the phone.
Nadine Dorries MP
House of Commons
London SW1A 0AA
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