Friday, 12 February 2016

Trial by Google TV at the Royal Oak

What with all these complex questions - the junior doctors' strike, Trident, whether we should stay in the EU or not - I'd love to see a TV programme where competing arguments are aired in front of a panel of analysts and the various claims are pulled apart for verification. Perhaps the we can make informed decisions. For me, that would be compelling viewing, as I'm sure it would be for many people; much better than these interminable bloody talent shows and soaps.

I was incensed at seeing Google's UK head of operations being asked by the Commons public accounts committee what his salary is. As if it has any relevance to Google's tax affairs! The guy unfortunately got flustered instead of immediately responding; "It's none of your damned business and is totally irrelevant." These parliamentary committees like generating fodder for the Daily Mail. It's government that make tax laws and perhaps it should be the government that's hauled before a parliamentary committee to be held to account for cosy deals and its failure to prevent the routing of sales and profit overseas.

It's about time MPs were paid like the rest of us - they need no qualifications to become an MP and therefore they are unskilled labour; there's no shortage of people wanting to become MPs and therefore their pay should be set by market forces. They should certainly not be paid more than junior doctors from day 1. Perhaps they should receive the same pay as they were getting prior to becoming an MP, with increments for additional responsibility, time served (which gives an indication of voter satisfaction) and out-of-hours work (but weekends are at the normal rate until 7pm, as we want a 7 day a week parliament) - at least their prior pay was earned and a good indicator of their true worth.

On my walks I regularly pass The Royal Oak pub on the High Street in Chipping Sodbury. It opens quite early for breakfast, yet I never fail to see someone in the window having a pint of beer at some unearthly hour. Mind blowing! Probably an MP.


  1. Suggest next time don't go past the Royal Oak, instead enter and enquire ?

    1. My brain says shift worker, but even then - a beer at 10:30am before you go to bed?

      Done shifts myself when I was at sea, but a drink is the last thing I wanted after a night shift.