Friday, June 19, 2009

'Redacted Dawn' Primarolo's week

Its not been a good week for Bristol South MP and new Children's Minister Dawn Primarolo. The Bristol Evening Post reported on Wednesday that she is to lose her funding from Unison because the trade union are protesting against the privatisation of public services and only want to work with MPs who 'stand up for the union's values' ('MP will no longer be 'bankrolled'', Bristol Evening Post, 17 June 2009).

On Thursday Dawn was again under pressure about her expenses when the Daily Telegraph reported that 'Dawn Primarolo claimed on second home in Bristol. In 2004, switched to London flat and claimed mortgage interest payments'.

And of course House of Commons officials did Dawn and her fellow MPs no favours at all by blanking out huge amounts of information on expenses receipts they finally published - making it impossible to trace the presence or absence of abuse/wrongdoing. The Bristol Evening Post wont make the coming weeks that easy for local MPs either as they have said 'There are literally thousands of receipts and documents which we will plough through to report on each MP.'
Scrutiny of everything MPs do is great for democracy, whether by the media, unions or whoever. My concern about some of the proposals emanating from Gordon Brown is that they consist of more layers of bureaucracy which over time might turn out to be little better than than current House of Commons authorities. I'd like scrutiny and accountability to be much more direct to voters.
Unison has done some very good green work, see .
Further information on the work of the Green Party Trade Union Group,

1 comment:

  1. Did you read Today's Telegraph supplement Glenn? Poor *ahem* Dawn!

    'Dawn Primarolo The Childrens and Families Minister claimed second home expenses for her constituency home in Bristol until 2004, when she flipped her expense claims to her London flat.

    Overnight her monthly claims for mortgage interest went up from £317 to £1,313. Having claimed a relatively modest £12,553 in 2003-04, Miss Primarolo's total claims under the Additional Costs Allowance rose sharply after the move, and by 2007-08 she was claiming the maximum permissible amount of £23, 083.
    Miss Primarolo also claimed for council tax, utilities, a cleaner and for her TV licence.'


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