.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Monday, March 09, 2015

Selling the family silver

Despite the obvious point about MPs operating in a different world to the rest of us, there is something vaguely surreal about the House of Commons selling off their silver-plated cutlery because it costs too much to polish.In Twitter-World this is known as a first world problem.

The Times says that a proposal has been made to sell the silver-plated cutlery to tourists and replace it with stainless steel knives and forks, made in the Far East, which would be less likely to be stolen. In many ways this is a sign of the times.

Naturally,Jacob Rees-Mogg, a Tory MP who was born with a silver spoon in his mouth and will be well used to using it on a regular basis wants the decision overturned:

He said: “Selling off Westminster’s family silver to save a paltry £10,000 a year is taking cheeseparing to ridiculous lengths. There is a fundamental triviality about trying to save this sort of money when we are told we need to find £3 billion to restore the palace.

“Dignitaries who come here rightly expect to use silver-plated cutlery — not something one stop short of plastic forks and polystyrene cups.”

Commons catering chiefs say that a new £17,000 stainless steel set — made in Vietnam or Taiwan — would not compromise on elegance.

In a report they told MPs: “Our silver cutlery must be sent back to the manufacturer for refurbishment annually and burnished weekly (rubbed and cleaned) to maintain its finish. This process is costly, labour intensive and it is becoming more difficult to maintain the cutlery to an acceptable standard.”

The officials say it would cost £72,400 over five years to keep the silver cutlery, including £21,200 for cleaning and polishing. MPs voted to keep the portcullis logo and asked caterers to look at buying cutlery made in the UK.

You could not make it up.
Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?