How much more could George Foulkes possibly miss the point? I am trying to work out what the point of this motor-mouth is. I think it must be to come out every so often and say something so blindingly pig-headed that everyone is temporarily distracted from the fact that the Labour Party is in such trouble.
What George Foulkes doesn’t seem to understand in this video is that being paid taxpayers’ money for doing your job is not the same as being paid taxpayers’ money for doing up your home. One is perfectly normal, while the other is egregious, under-handed and borderline fraudulent.
Incidentally, his maths isn’t too hot either. £92,000 isn’t anything like twice what an MP gets paid (£64,766). It’s not even 1½ times (sans expenses, of course).
As for his claim that journalists “undermine democracy”, I don’t think I’ve heard anything so dangerous outside of a BNP pamphlet in a long time. Journalists in fact do the very opposite. They uphold democracy, and it’s just as well they exist, no matter how much they are paid, because it’s the only way these people are ever held to account.
The BBC can pay its journalists as it sees fit, and it is important for the independence of the BBC that this is the case. Unless you want the BBC to be staffed entirely by work experience kids, that means paying the market rate. Wouldn’t it be good if MPs were paid the market rate? There isn’t any shortage of applicants you know.
It is none of a politician’s business what a journalist gets paid, and it is especially dangerous for one to stick his nose into the BBC’s decisions. I think it is ominous that a politician should take such glee in telling the BBC how it should allocate its resources — and at the same time demand that it stop asking him questions that the viewers want answered. It is indeed this sort of demand that undermines democracy.
I can’t believe the rudeness of George Foulkes, and full credit to Carrie Gracie for just coming right out and revealing her salary. MPs had to have the information about their expenses prised out of their mitts, and now we know why.