Friday, 26 February 2010

MPs & Train Travel

I know we all got upset (and rightly so) about second homes & cleaning moats or building bird platforms or husbands watching porn videos on wives expenses.
I think that we have gone just too far in demanding that MPs travel second class on the train.

We PAY our MPs and we expect them to use their time efficiently in the service of us , their Constituents.

Fine on a 45 minute commute into Westminster from their London base - or a link journey from a mainline rail station to a Constituency base. I'm all for them experiencing the world as it is to the rest of us.

But most of them are travelling at least two long journeys a week - between the Constituency and a main line London station.
This can account for 4 or 6 or 8 or even 10 hours a week! A whole day! 1/5th of their working week.

Do we really want them to be standing in a corridor listening to their iPod. Or sitting squashed together, at a table with 3 other people talking, so that they can't even concentrate on the poorly written novel they grabbed from the station kiosk, in the knowledge that there wouldn't be space to spread out even a tabloid newspaper? Or if they are lucky enough to get a seat with one neighbour and a tiny desk do we really want them to pull out personal letters relating to Constituents, not knowing wether the person sitting next to them is a terrorist, a tabloid journalist or the nosy accross the street neighbour of the person needing their MP to help them.

Wouldn't we prefer them to pre- book a single seat in first class where they can use the salary we pay them to sit at a desk and plug in their laptop and get on with the work for which we pay them?

Rail fares might be expensive but the difference between first & second class DOES NOT MERIT THE LOSS OF BETWEEN A TENTH AND A FIFTH OF EVERY MPs WORKING WEEK FOR EVERY WEEK THAT PARLIAMENT IS SITTING.

Second class travel on journeys over an hour just doesn't make sense at the salary level we pay our MPs. It is a total waste of our hardearned money.

Come on MPs fight back. We need you to travel first class so you can work for us whilst you travel!

1 comment:

  1. The alternative is for them to increase their carbon footprint by driving so that at least they can catch up on current affairs via the car radio - or to reduce their journey time by travelling by air which is the last thing we should be encouraging anybody to do!