Labour peer Lord Foulkes (pictured right) appeared on the lunchtime BBC news today and attempted to defend his colleague's ludicrous expense claims. Carrie Gracie, a presenter on the broadcaster's 24 hour news channel, asked the peer if he agreed with those demading that ministers and MPs who abused the expenses system should have to pay back the money they claimed for. But the poor woman must have felt as though she'd been viciously attacked by a damp tissue when he turned on her in an attempt to divert attention from himself, asking her how much she was being paid for conducting the interview. Proving she's a lot more open about her finances than most politicians, Ms. Gracie informed him that she receives a salary of £92,000 per annum. He replied that she was being paid "nearly twice as much as an MP to come on and talk nonsense," obviously unaware that the current basic salary for an MP is £64,766 - which, in fact, is £22,766 more than half of Gracie's wage and a good wodge of cash more than the average UK family's income of approximately £32,799. But then, if you can get your swimming pool cleaned out like some MPs have been doing recently and then have the tax-payer foot the bill, I expect you soon lose all track of the value of money. Lord Foulkes then accused the BBC and other media of paying no attention to all the good work carried out by MPs and claimed that newsreaders including Jeremy Paxman and John Humphreys "come on TV and sneer at democracy and undermine democracy. The vast majority of MPs are being undermined by you." Perhaps he feels that MP's activities should not be open to public scrutiny? Gracie showed grace when she apologised to the peer for interrupting him, to which Foulkes showed he's a fucker by replying, "You're not at all sorry to interrupt me - every time an MP comes on you constantly harass them."
Could we also point out that Gracie's salary is paid by the BBC, which none of us are forced to finance - if we feel it's unfair, we can avoid the cost by not having a television licence (whether or not you feel this means you should also not own a television is up to you) - whereas Foulkes' salary - like that of all Government ministers - is paid through taxes, which those of us who can't afford to piss off to some tax haven or another have no choice but to pay?