Arise, Lord Gorbals of Troughshire!

Thursday, 2 July 2009

As is the custom, the former Speaker of the House of Commons, one Michael Martin a.k.a. "Gorbals Mick", is to get a peerage and (it appears) do very nicely out of his post-Speakership years, including a nice pension and the rest.

This is not going down well with the public, apparently, who have become aware of his own expenses issues (not forgetting his wife's shopping costs as well) and his involvement with the attempts to keep MPs' expenses hidden from public knowledge.

Politics Home Index (PHI) has conducted a poll of the public, making sure they were informed of the custom I mentioned above, and found that despite that custom nearly three-quarters of respondees were not in favour of Martin being granted a peerage. As the PHI article says:
"The vetting panel for the House of Lords took the unusual step of writing to Downing Street and warning of the dangers of awarding Michael Martin a peerage."
Unsurprisingly, Downing Street did not heed this warning and went ahead regardless. Just 19%, mainly Labour supporters, considered that he should be granted the peerage. This is tribalism of course, as is standard in that part of the political spectrum, but not exactly convincing even so.

Now that the deed has been done (yesterday) there is nothing to be gained in challenging this, but it could in future be held up as one clear-cut example among several of how Labour are more interested in looking after themselves than serving the public interest.


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