Sunday, 21 February 2010

Snouts in the trough

Another busy day at the Council of Europe

We’re a lucky nation to be ruled by such wise heads. We have the cream of society to look after our interests and make laws for us that are just, fair and wise... people like left-wing MP Bill Etherington. This paragon of political virtue is featured heavily in today’s paper for having taken part in an edifying spectacle involving a Champagne drinking contest with fellow Labour MP, Geraldine Smith.

The honorable member was keen to prove his manliness by drinking so much fizz he was forced to projectile vomit the contents of his stomach across a table at a banquet where many senior European politicians were dining at the same publicly funded trough.

The anti-monarchist and former union leader is well known for his love of European junkets. Last year MPs spent an eye-watering £800,000 on little jaunts abroad. Each trip is made on business class transport and each MP has £236 a day shoveled into their bank accounts for undertaking the arduous task of guzzling Champagne at the taxpayer’s expense.

At the grand dinner in Paris, arranged by the Council of Europe, the member for Sunderland North managed to rearrange his food and drink artistically across the top table in front of astonished European dignitories. Mr Etherington was so bladdered that he then passed out and colleagues feared for his life.

Mr Etherington is described as a 'low-profile figure' at Westminster… presumably because much of his time is spent under a table. For five of the past seven years he has taken part in fewer than half of Commons votes.

The Council of Europe junkets are widely regarded as little paid holidays for MPs and membership is handed out as a reward for loyalty and good behaviour. According to attendees, most of them are just publicly funded eating and drinking competitions and just another little perk of being part of the grand European slurry machine.

One Council of Europe member describe 90% of the council’s work as “swanning around with no aim or ambition apart from to have free drink, free food.”

Nice 'work' if you can get it.


  1. HI XTM, just wondering where you saw this story? Not disagreeing at all, just curious as to where it came from.


  2. Today's Mail on Sunday... You can read it online.

  3. Just read it. Need a drink to stomach all this! (that I can pay for myself!)

  4. Traction man, I'm disappointed that there is no mention of your anniversary on your blog! Well done for getting through the past year.
    Best wishes.

  5. ET, you left a great big huge overwhelming question un answered... WHERE DO I SIGN UP ??? ;)

    I am an expat (dragged off to the convict lands by parents at age 7 ;) (not that I am complaining as I love it here in Oz, but gee if I was offered one of these positions, I would HAVE to move back to the UK, it would be my civic duty ;)(ROFLMAO)

    I wonder how much smoked salmon they get ? could I at this level of representation start a new fad diet "the Sushi diet" and expect to have large QTY at EVERY MEETING ;)

    MMMMMM now that is a great thought ;)


    Kat (from Perth Au.)

  6. I'm up for the sushi diet. I also fancy a nice helping of political junkets. THose poor overworked parliamentarians. I don't know how they find the time to do all their embezzling and have all those affairs. It must be so stressful.

  7. Ohhh TM are the affairs compulsory ?? If so it would count me out :( Although Kosmos says if it was part of my job and she could come on the junket, and have the boozy meals that she would allow it ;)

    Speaking of Booze, I do not think I could represent the mother land well, as Kos and I do not drink much :( infact a carton (24 stubbies (small bottle of beer 375ml) in a box) will last me two years (e).....

    On another note, I am now following "The Paramedic's Diary" Stu is quite good at describing the clientele and you get some wonderful mental images ;).....


    Kat (Perth Au.)

    PS Taffeta and Satin are waving hi to all the other kitty followers.