And off we go again.
2016 was an incredible year in politics. Shocking things happened. Brexit, Cameron quit, Theresa May parked her broomstick inside Number 10, Trump won with over a million less votes than the quite awful Hillary Clinton, the 'charming' Jamie Reed decided to pusue a career at Sellafield (you won't be able to leak anything there Jamie), Tory Ed Vaizey kindly called me "a troll" - and became 1 of 80 of his colleagues that decided to block me on Twitter for having the cheek to want some accountability for their actions. OK, not all of that is particularly shocking, and its not just Tory MPs that don't like communicating with the electorate. Ask Ian Austin, Tom Watson and Tristram Hunt.
Members of parliament should not be blocking anyone that has a genuine question.
If that question is regarding their votes in the house,or the public funds they use for various purposes then what's the problem? If an MP is subject to abuse on social media then they are quite within their rights to do so - but blocking someone for asking a straightforward question simply adds to the overwhelming lack of trust afforded to MPs.
2009 Expenses Scandal is not something the British public will forget in a hurry. Members of parliament lavishing themselves with public cash. Some of the details of the expenses scandal make it on to my Twitter pictures that I circulate, I wish I could go through every single one of them. Some of the examples of greed I came across left me literally speechless. Take a look at Tory MP Bill Wiggin - This guy claimed £11,000 worth of mortgage interest payments from the taxpayer. The problem with this? The property had no mortgage. Bill put it all down to an "administrative error", like you do. Bill made this admin error no less than 23 times.
If that was you or me we'd be of to some state-sponsored G4S prison quicker than you can say "thieving Tory bastard".
Anyway, back to 2016. I want to show you the top 10 earning MPs. Despite their generous salaries and expenses it will never be enough for some. All of the top 10 earned more than Theresa May last year, some earning around 30 years worth of wages for a supermarket shelf stacker in the space of just 12 months. So take a deep breath and prepare for some Tory greed that will get your blood boiling, the perfect start to 2017!
her financial declarations here - What a struggle it must be for Fiona with all of those rental properties to cash-in on. Fiona added £145,350 to her MPs salary in 2016.
ision to join a coalition government with David Cameron's Tory Party, it was said that on completing the coalition negotiations, Hague is said to have told his wife, Ffion: “I think I’ve just killed the Liberal Democrats.” One thing Hague failed to kill of was Clegg's salary expectations.
Just about managing at number 8, we have Tory MP Sir Edward Garnier. Edward is unable to push a lawnmower around himself. Being a Barrister and Crown Court Recorder must take up a lot of his time though. Time that he is exceptionally well paid for. He added a bonus £233,910 on top of the salary that we already pay him to do a full time job.
Rolling in at number 7 is Sir Nicholas Soames. Charming Soames was caught on tape saying that fracking should be tested in the north - leading to claims of him being a Nimby. Those that know Soames and how he operates will tell you Nimby is possibly one of the politest things you could say about him. If you google his name, followed by "key and wardrobe" you can find out lots about Nick. Can I suggest you are not eating anything at he time. Soames blocked me on Twitter on his way to earning a nice extra £245,423 on top of his MPs salary.
Sleazing in at number 6, with the grace of a Boko Haram foot soldier and with the subtlety of the brick which WAS NEVER THROWN THROUGH ANGELA EAGLE'S OFFICE WINDOW (SHE LIED) -catching you a glancing blow on the jaw, is generous Nadine Dorries. She scraped together £333,000 last year. Have a look at my little meme that I sent her. Its all true, its all sourced. Maybe that is why she has also blocked me on Twitter?
Mumbling away at number 5 is the undisputed champion of gutless bottlers in the Tory Party, former London Mayor, casual racist, and tell you whatever you want to hear specialist, Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson. Perfect for a number crunch this one. He pocketed £356,000 in 2016. Some way short of the £350m a week that he promised our NHS, but if he wants to donate that £356,000 to a local hospital I'm sure they would be eternally grateful. After all, his government have cut the NHS to the bone.
Slithering in at number 4 is YouGov founder Nadhim Zahawi. If I'm being honest, I could write a full blog on the millionaire Zahawi and still not be able to fully explain how much of a toxic little rat he really is. We all know about the £5,000+ bill the taxpayer picked up so Zahawi could heat his stables up on his Warwickshire estate, but hard-up Zahawi also claimed 31p for paperclips. I'd like to know if every one of those clips was used for constituency business seeing as we paid for them. But like Dorries, Garnier and Soames, Zahawi has blocked me on Twitter. He pocketed an additional £359,746 on top of his MP salary in 2016.
brings us Geoffrey Cox QC, possibly one of my favourites. Back in March 2016, Geoffrey voted to cut ESA for his sick and disabled constituents. Geoffrey won my then-coveted title of 'Tory Bastard Of The Week', not just for his attack on vulnerable people who already have very little, but Mr Standards Comittee himself had another one of those dreadful 'admin errors', and forgot how much he earned through other employment. Anyway, Geoff went crying to his local newspaper to point out I was wrong and he's not a bastard. You are Geoff, you really are. Obviously, the forgetful member has blocked me on Twitter. He picked up an extra £577,868 on top of his MP salary.
In at number 2 is Ken Clarke. On the surface he reminds me of a loveable grandad type, I could imagine him sat on an allotment, smoking a cigar, listening to some jazz, caressing his prize-winning marrow. But not many loveable grandads have been a participant at the annual meeting of The Bilderberg Group on ELEVEN occasions. Nor do I remember my own grandad being Deputy Chairman and a director of British American Tobacco for 9 years. On the plus side, Clarke is yet to block me on Twitter, although this would be down to him not actually being on Twitter, he prefers listening to the wireless. Ken managed to earn an extra £599,160 in 2016.
And now we make it to number 1. Despite stiff competition from some of politics most loathsome individuals, the winner is George Osborne. After losing his job, the failed Chancellor was signed up by the same US agency as Tony Blair, the Washington Speaker Bureau, and embarked on a round of lucrative engagements on both sides of the Atlantic. His most profitable speeches were two for investment bank JP Morgan, for which he received £81,174 and £60,578, a speech for Palmex Derivatives (£80,240), and another for the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (£69,992). Osborne earned £627,891 on top of his MPs salary in 2016.
I must be clear in saying that no rules have been broken by anyone that I have mentioned, all of the information is available on the Register of Members' Interests. The morality behind it is another matter, in my opinion. Do we not pay these people enough for a full-time job? I will also be equally clear in saying how remarkable it is that the 10 top positions are all occupied by Tories. Call Clegg a Lib Dem if you like, but history will recall Mr Clegg gave David Cameron his backing to austerity & tax cuts for the very wealthiest.
If you enter parliament with the intention of serving the people, rather than the people serving you, then one job as an MP should be enough for anyone.
Happy New Year to one and all, lets hope its a good one.
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