From a post by John Rentoul of the Independent.
"Telling entry in Chris Mullin's diaries from six years ago sheds some light on the current state of affairs,..........................
Thursday, 20 March 2003: To a meeting of the liaison committee where a wonderful, hilarious, shameless discussion took place about the extent to which select committees should travel club class. It was triggered by Alan Williams's very sensible proposal that all short-haul flights to Europe and the east coast of the USA should be by premium economy. Whereupon a forest of objections were raised ...
Nicholas Winterton expressed concern that to travel by economy would diminish our status. Status is something with which Sir Nicholas is frequently preoccupied. He went on: “It’s not the food, it’s the sort of people ...”
“He doesn’t want to meet his constituents,” remarked Michael Mates to general merriment.
“You’re totally missing my point,” huffed Sir Nicholas.
Someone pointed out, as if it were a clinching argument, that Sir Patrick Cormack, who is even grander than Sir Nicholas, refused to fly anywhere by anything less than club.
On and on the discussion went. There were learned interventions on wind speeds, civil service comparators, seat sizes. At times one might have been forgiven for thinking that the very fate of parliamentary democracy itself was in the balance. Goodness knows what our constituents would have made of it all."
Nice to know how our representatives spend their time discussing their own 'creature comforts', whilst ignoring more pressing matters of state!
One can now, possibly, better understand the reasons for Old Nick (and the Nickess) wishing to stand down. It is possible to even hear Old Nick complaining: "The jobs not worth doing anymore - the public want a say in how we conduct ourselves and how we work! Whatever next?"
Samizdata quote of the day
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