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Sunday, January 22, 2012

Welsh MP upsets colleagues with caricatures

Whatever one might think of Newport West Labour MP, Paul Flynn it cannot be denied that he says what he thinks, irrespective of the consequences. It comes as no surprise therefore that this morning's Mail on Sunday carries news of a host of outraged MPs at the portrait he draws in his latest book of life in the House of Commons and some of them in particular.

The paper says that Mr. Flynn's book, 'How To Be An MP', exposes junketing, boozing and ‘serial seducers who have sex in their Commons offices’. It adds that ‘travel glutton Gulliver’ MPs ‘prostitute’ themselves on foreign trips paid for by ‘greedy’ businessmen and tyrants, and claims curbs on sleaze after the expenses scandal have not ended the risk of Westminster being ‘re-infested with corruption’. He advises MPs to get rid of trouble-making constituents by telling them they are mad.

Some of the detail from the article is worth quoting in full: Mr Flynn, MP for Newport West, also refers to an unnamed member branded ‘Gorillagram’ because he ‘could earn a living delivering gorillagrams without the aid of a monkey suit’. Then there was an anonymous Tory known as the ‘Talking Grow Bag’ for his ‘dreary country suits’ and a ‘Fred Nobody MP’ asking endless questions about an African country he had visited. Asked to name them, Mr Flynn refused, saying: ‘It might upset them. There are lots of Fred Nobodies. It could be one of 20.’

Mr Flynn lambasts ‘Gulliver’ MPs – ‘travel gluttons consoled by long hours in the sun at the poolside of a luxury hotel’. He says: ‘Commercial jaunts stuff large quantities of protein and alcohol into MPs: ideal for those who have decided to prostitute their time to the highest bidder.

It continues: He alludes to three unnamed Tories who ‘in 2011 flew to the hell hole of Equatorial Guinea. They flew business-class to the oil-rich African country and the total cost of the visit was almost £25,000. The biggest fact that the inept trio found on this jaunt was their own ineptitude’. They were ‘cosying up to a corrupt dictator with a human-rights record halfway between Adolf Hitler and Attila the Hun’.

Last year, Conservative MPs Nadine Dorries, Caroline Nokes and Steve Baker visited Equatorial Guinea. All three declared the trip in the Commons register, with the total cost coming to £24,170. There is no suggestion that they made any personal gain.

Mr Flynn provocatively suggests Speaker John Bercow’s two (unnamed) deputies stood for election to the post in 2010 for the perks. Asking tartly why they gave up their right to speak in debates, he says: ‘Very significantly, no one mentioned the job carries an additional salary of up to £40,000 and comes with faux prestige, dollops of guilt-free foreign travel and elegant dining.’

Finally, in a guide to sex and booze in Westminster, Mr Flynn says: flings are ‘inevitable’ and talks of ‘furtive encounters in parliamentary offices when resistance levels are falling and testosterone levels are rising .  .  . serial seducers of both sexes roam the corridors’.

The Commons’ elegant Pugin Room is ‘sinfully comfortable .  .  . popular for romantic encounters’. By contrast, the MPs’ Smoking Room is a ‘melange of gentleman’s club and geriatric home, a refuge for alcohol addicts’. On expenses, he argues: ‘The manipulation of greed still seeks to corrupt the power of Parliament. The fumigation of the Palace cannot prevent its re-infestation.’

All of this of course makes the upcoming selection battle between Mr. Flynn and Jessica Morden for the new Newport seat, a compelling one. Can we afford to lose such a politician from the House of Commons.
How on earth has Paul Flynn remained in the Labour Party for so long? He would surely be more at home in Plaid. Then again, he was once...
So many politicians tow the party line, so as not to upset the cosy undemocratic system which brings such rewards.

Good luck to Mr Flynn and the small handful of those like him who are willing to speak out.. they're almost all in the Labour party..I can't think of any in your party, and certainly not among the Tories.

Paul has learnt Welsh, which is to his credit. Not many elected politicians in Wales have done so - am I right to include you in that number? It's a pity he belongs to such a discredited party.
Don't agree with what Paul Flynn says about farming but there is an MP I can respect. He literally doesn't care about the party line and has done the best for his constituents and also for his country. His voting record is effectively Plaid anyway so he may as well be counted as a Plaid MP.
I think Paul Flynn in probably quite close to the mark with many of his comments. My jaw dropped when I heard about Lord Prescott. And then there was Lord Major and The RH Edwina. OMG.
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