12/12/13 Outsourcing Parliament

The words ‘outsourcing’, ‘putting out to tender’, ‘efficiency savings’ and ‘competitive’ are enough to bring out a cold sweat in many a private and/ or public sector worker.

They know, oh too well, that this means – someone wants more for less.

For the oft sycophantic higher echelons of management it’s a great opportunity to pay less towards the worker engines that allows them to pay themselves more for being oh so clever, usually delivering that rapier line,’There are thousands out there who’d do your job for a tenth of what you get…’

It’s fascinating, isn’t it, that such slash and burn pro market, pro capitalist rhetoric is almost absent when considering the 2 groups who make the most noise about it.

Bankers (I’m afraid if you want to rant about this particular group, you’ll have to write your own blog – see, outsourcing in action) and hard working, as if there could be any other kind, MP’s.

As a social worker in the early noughties, we found our own care providers being outsourced to a variety of private organisations – cheaper, cheap, cheap and shit and who gives a toss they won’t remember who’s been in, they’ve got dementia.

Seemingly more for less.

With bankers and MP’s though, we are warned that if we pay peanuts we’ll get monkeys. If we don’t pay our bankers at a premium rate they’ll take their (mal)practice elsewhere.

It was with a similar song in his heart that Jack Straw spread his wise words of wisdom regarding the proposed 11% rises in the mother of all parliaments. He suggests that blocking the increase would

‘unfairly deter “people from modest backgrounds” from entering politics.’

One rule for us and one…

Anyway, this got me thinking. How can we cut back, sorry, streamline, parliament?

Well, you’ll be wanting a cheaper building for a start. A quick frollicky prance around the interweb informs me that the running costs of the Houses of Parliament is around £218 million a year – that doesn’t include, well, anything other than the upkeep of the building as far as I can make out…

So, what part of the UK provides cheap properties?

Well, Newham council (London) have decanted a bunch of their council tenants to Stoke.

So…I looked for commercial property in Stoke – £1.75 million buys you a 52 thousand square feet warehouse that boasts ample parking with excellent road links throughout North Staffordshire.

Sure, the MP’s will have to bring their own seats – but I’m sure the box thing in the centre of the debating hall can be replaced with something from Ikea – and those books on it, I’ve never seen anyone look at them – I wonder what a second hand set of encyclopaedia Britannica would set us back? (Bearing in mind we’ve just saved £210 million – we can push the boat out a bit)

Stoke’s central, so there’ll be none of that nasty London weighting and less travelling all round – and Big Steve reckons he can do the security for a grand a week.

This week the interweb has been alive with people on benefits being sanctioned (having some or all of their benefits stopped for weeks) for all kinds of crazy things, from missing a Jobcentre plus appointment because of a close family bereavement to attending a job interview – even when the Job centre concerned was informed ahead of time…

So, with this in mind, I thought we could achieve more efficiencies with our MP’s if we introduced a similar regime when they were found behaving in ways unbecoming someone in high office…like posing for a selfie at a state funeral, or talking about a person involved in a case in the high court – Nigella for example – then we could apply similar sanctions…

Getting back to the whole efficiency saving, streamlining thing, how many weeks recess/ break/ holiday from parliament do our hardworking MP’s get a year?

Well, there’s Christmas – about 3 weeks; February – a week and a bit; Easter – we’ll call that 2 weeks; May, er, day – that’ll be 4 days; Whitsun – that’s 2 weeks; Summer – looking dangerously like 5 weeks; we have the conference shagfest – you’ll need a month for that; and of course the November week;

That’s a total of about 18 weeks. Do you know, that warehouse in Stoke isn’t looking like such a bargain now…maybe we could rent it…?

In a recent survey (yes, that is vague-speak for, ‘I read it in the Daily Mail so it must be true…’) it was found that one in seven MP’s have never had a proper job.

Using the ‘it’s not fair that benefits claimants get something for nothing philosophy’ we could remedy that dearth in experience by slotting a number of our great elected into some of that something for, er, something, unpaid workfare, honest, this will look great in your CV, schemes with such purveyors of professional preeminence as Poundland (my best alliteration ever – go on, read it again) to ensure their future employment prospects are safe.

Ok, that’s the buildings and the holidays sorted – what about the actual MP’s?

Well, I got all excited when I found that Sierra Leone had the lowest paid members of parliament in the world – unfortunately, in keeping with many self serving egomaniacs across the world, these folk have upped their income to over $100 thousand a year…
…putting paid to any notion of international free transfers.

So who could we get to step up to this particular mark?

Well, what does parliament do?

As far as I can make out it’s primarily about budget allocation, the word ‘economics’ comes from the Ancient Greek word for housekeeping.

Who, in this fine society of ours would be best at this?

Millionaires who don’t want their stinky pay rise anyway?

I don’t think they’d be the best at…I mean, they just don’t need to be frugal…

What about those folk with their gold plaited benefits? The ones who live in mansions and run 3 cars on £59 per week?

In all seriousness though – these people who manage a household – a small economy – on very tight budgets – in very little time, given the fact that they have to work for their tiny incomes – these are the people I’d want in charge…


Now, Does anyone want to develop a large Central London listed property? Ideal for student bedsits.

You’re welcome

Walk a mile


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