Beeswax candles and the Freedom of Info Act

No wonder some MPs are hell-bent on abolishing the Freedom of Information Act which allows the taxpaying public a glimpse of some of the questionable activities that go on behind the scenes in the Establishment.

Tuesday, 16th February 2016, 7:56 am
Updated Tuesday, 16th February 2016, 9:00 am
1995 library filer of Chris Moncrieff. Photo by Peter Smith/PA

This Act has just exposed the allegedly high living of Speaker John Bercow – at the taxpayers’ expense, of course. It demonstrates just why this legislation should remain where it is and why so many people at Westminster cannot wait to see it abolished.

It shows that the Speaker, who already lives in a palace, has spent thousands of pounds of our money on beeswax candles (for heaven’s sake!), piano tuning, photographs of the Speaker to be sent to his “fans” on request, and wining and dining on the grandest possible scale.

Would the man have purchased beeswax candles out of his own pocket? I simply pose the question.

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Even the disgraceful expenses scandal of 2009 does not seem to have led to any abatement of the extravagant way in which some parliamentarians are so cavalier with our money.

Attempts to curb this greed since 2009 do not seem to have had the desired effect. The abolition of the Freedom of Information Act will make it all that much easier for MPs to continue abusing the system.

So one window which was opened to allow us to see what goes on, could well be smashed shut in our face. So much for the concept of transparency.

Is the National Health Service safe in anybody’s hands?

The NHS is now in a mess and it will take superhuman efforts to restore it to some kind of viable order.

The junior doctors’ strikes have delayed or even cancelled thousands of operations. And some of the salaries at the highest echelons of the system are an affront to the taxpaying public.

Throwing vast wads of cash at the system should work, but doesn’t seem to, as more demands are made upon it. It is easier said than done to suggest that the NHS needs a complete overhaul.

However, many people remain full of praise for those doctors and nurses, and other front-line personnel, who respond so magnificently to the challenges they face.