Wednesday, 13 May 2009

The 'Lie' of the Land

Hat Tip to Andrew Reeves

I see that Michael Beckford in complaining about Alan Reid MP for Argyll and Bute expenses for his summer tour around his constituency. Until she was recently made redundant on her return from her maternity leave my ex-fiancee used to work for the company that trained CalMac in their computer systems. She undertook her first tour of islands shortly after getting her job in 2005 and it wasn't cheap. For her to do all the CalMac bases in the west was something like £3-4000, before she claimed for petrol. Also for some of the islands the service (and don't forget she was working on behalf of the company providing the ferries) necessitated she had to stay overnight in one port after an day's training before leaving on the first Ferry out to go to another port for training.

Yes the distances as the crow flies may be less than what is covered by the London underground network. But in many of these cases going outward and onward is more expedient than doubling back. Indeed by booking B&Bs and staying overnight and booking a circular roving route Alan Reid is actually saving the tax payer money rather than booking a whole series of returns to visit the outlying parts and constituents.

I don't mind the Telegraph digging up waste and extravagance, but trying to show a hard working MP serving his constituents in a conscientious way shows a great misunderstanding of the geography, transport difficulties and workings of some of the more rural parts of our country. Indeed it is a ridiculous untruth to put this down as wastage and shows a lack on indepth journalism and merely looking at the headline figures without working out just what they are for.

1 comment:

  1. hear, hear.

    I blogged about this as well, it damn well annoys me that a journalist sat in his office in Canary Wharf can dismiss 38 miles across Islands and ferries in this manner.