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Through the MP keyhole 28 May, 2009

Posted by Annie Deakin in Annie's blog.
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Houses of Parliament

This MP expense scandal is not letting up… but I’ve got to admit that I’m as gripped by the revelations as I was when it was first announced. Glittery loo seats or designer chairs? I’ve had a good dig around to see which politicians have bad taste and which have style.

Call me shallow but I want my country’s leaders to set an example; not just in moral and social situations, but also in terms of design and fashion. The monetary implications are appalling – but so are the exposed interior styles. Pillaging from the public purse is one crime. The design crowd went up in arms when it was revealed that John Reid expensed a £24.99 black glitter loo seat from Homebase. With such dodgy bathroom taste, Reid deserves to be the butt of our jokes. John Prescott claimed for the repair of a broken loo seat not once, but twice in two years. Best not to dwell on those thoughts? To add insult to injury, the former Deputy Prime Minister added more expense claims; one £580 receipt revealed to all his sickening-sounding saffron carpet.

Next in line to be slated on the style front is “Housing” Minister Margaret Beckett. Oh, the irony of her job title when, quite frankly, her £600 claim for hanging baskets has left home editors quivering. And as for Jacqui Smith, it wasn’t the expensed adult movies that riled me the most but her DFS-style sofabed, dining table combo and “antique-style fireplace”. It conjured up unsightly visions of The Royle Family.

Anyone got style? Junior minister Kitty Ussher couldn’t bare the 3-dimensional Artex covered ceilings on grounds of taste and Tory Michael Gove showed style with his OKA Chinese-style Manchu chest – the same as my own at home!

Manchu cabinet from OKAThey were swindling the system but at least with style. Rising Liberal Democrat Julia Goldsworthy bought a chic £1,200 leather rocking chair from designer furniture store Heal’s.We know from last year’s ITV home filming that David Cameron has Tom Dixon mirror ball silver pendant lights (epitome of chic) in his kitchen.

Tom Dixon silver pendant light

Seeing the expenses scandal unfold has been like watching a series of Sir David Frost’s TV show Through the Keyhole. People often say that you don’t know someone properly until you’ve seen their home. So now we know…<–>

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