Monday, 15 March 2010

Jim Fixes It - For His Own Office

Jim Murphy is always calling for restraint in public spending and the need for the Scottish Government to find 'efficiencies', but what Mr Murphy doesn't inform us is that his Scotland Office budget increased by £1.2 million to £8.7 million for 2009/2010. Last year the budget rose by £1.3 million.

By contrast, the total Scottish Government budget of around £29.5 billion rose by £18 million in 2009/2010 compared to a much larger increase of almost £76 million last year. Scottish ministers argue that when inflation is taken into account, their budget has fallen in real terms.

However, Mr Murphy has put his most generous increase to good use. He's spent £1.4 million on a facelift for his luxurious mansion office during the worst recession in modern history. More money has been spent titivating Dover House in London over the past two years than in the whole of the previous five years.

Public money has gone on things like new carpets and oak floorboards, wall and ceiling decorations, a new fireplace, air conditioning, new cupboard doors and CCTV cameras, to name but a few items.

Since 1999 a succession of labour ministers have authorised more than £3.3 million of 'refurbishments' to the Scotland Office's Whitehall headquarters, as well as its smaller Edinburgh base. Why does Jim Murphy need an Edinburgh base?

Ministers said the bulk of the cash was spent on roof and exterior repairs because it's a grade one listed building and must be maintained at an 'acceptable standard of decoration', but planning papers lodged with Westminster City Council show that public money has also been spent on sprucing up the interior, as well as bomb proof doors, roof lights and even 'pruning an Indian bean tree'.

Did you know that the walls of Dover House are lined with dozens of valuable painting on loan from the National Galleries of Scotland? Did you also know that the building boasts a gym, a shower room, two libraries, a radio broadcast room and a video conferencing room?

Margaret Thatcher was apparently furious that her ministers were working in such luxury. So am I, especially when there is no further need for a Scotland Office now we have devolution. But Jim Murphy's job is not to defend and protect Scottish interests, it is to ensure that every proposal made by the SNP Scottish government is ignored or scorned by the Westminster government.

Next time I hear him mutter about efficiencies I'll be able to call him a hypocrite and justifiably so.


Not the Messiah said...

Wardog was right after all.

CrazyDaisy said...

He deserves what's coming to him, commie scum!


subrosa said...

Aye Messiah, he was seldom wrong.

subrosa said...

Jings CD, they'll be coming to take you away! April showers again here.

Alex said...

His job is Minister of Propaganda in Scotland. That's what he does and how history will view him. A conscience can get in the way of a luxurious career. Why bother with such trifles?

Clarinda said...

Apparently the Indian Bean Tree has a very thin, floppy and flat appearance with a habit of snapping easily under strain.....? Good choice there, Jim.

I have tried to listen to Mr Brown, Subrosa, today he has been on Women's Hour. He appears to have been coached in some new key words relating to specific names and capabilities of military equipment but continually needs to fall back on his comfort-zone platitudes.

The deliberate flat-lining of any electioneering spirit in the MSM is soul-destroying - we should by now with so few weeks to go - be immersed in some genuine cut and thrust, clarifying the political choices and directions on offer. Instead we have - well you name it... but it's not unfettered democracy in my book.

subrosa said...

We could do with a few photos of the interior of DH Alex, just to show Murphy's electorate the style he works in when 'abroad'. Could be a good election tool for the opposition.

subrosa said...

Ah Clarinda, I too looked up the Indian Bean Tree out of curiosity. :)

I gritted my teeth to listen Clarinda and gritted them even more during the first few minutes. May I record my gratitude to the person who interrupted my listening. I shall be forever in their debt.

Don't think I can bring myself to hear it on iPlayer, a few minutes was enough.

Why does this man feel he has to make such an exhibition of himself on the MSM? He hasn't called an election yet and he's officially still prime minister. He should be running the country not electioneering.

Crinkly & Ragged Arsed Philosophers said...

I hesitate to say this Clarinda - but cut and thrust serves little purpose in a broth of mediocrity.

Scotland's got a more substantial choice, if it has the backbone to use it. But for the rest of the UK it's limited to a pretty asinine choice of flavouring. (Or for the cynics read poisoning?)

Clarinda said...

Crinkly - I accept your point completely - it's very difficult to sup broth with a knife!

I'm just a little restless waiting for the off when I hope passionately to see political courage that will inspire. In Scotland we have a distinct national/independent option of great promise - let's not hestitate any more.

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