Showing posts with label lords expenses. Show all posts
Showing posts with label lords expenses. Show all posts

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Poor peers; Climate Change (again); Cops gone for a Burton; Boaring Germans; Parody peril; and Sandwell jobsworth.

No sleep again last night, so I passed the time watching the last episode of Morse, QI, Have I got News, and the Buzzcocks which I recorded whenever they were on.

Another cold start to the day, but I have thrown caution to the wind and put the heating on, unlike the House of Lords where it seems that the peers are revolting

Peers have criticised some of the proposed reforms to their expenses - drawn up after claims some were abusing their overnight allowance.

Plans to cut the £174-a-night allowance to £140 but increase daily attendance fees to £200 were debated in the Lords.

One peer described the proposals, which also include ending claims for mortgage interest and first-class travel by spouses, as an "insult".

Peers agreed without a vote to back the plans in principle, but not the detail.

The review into peers' expenses by the Senior Salaries Review Body suggested daily allowances for office costs and food, worth up to £161.50, be replaced by a £200 attendance fee.

However it suggested peers should have to do more to prove their attendance, that mortgage interest claims on second homes be phased out and overnight claims be restricted to rent and running costs.

Like the MPs. If they don’t like it resign.


Surprise, surprise the wonderful, wonderful Copenhagen climate party has run out of good cheer.

Climate change negotiators have been working through the night in Copenhagen to try to rescue plans for a global agreement from collapse.

Heads of state start to appear in the Danish capital later in the day, ahead of a hoped-for signing on Friday.

But several issues remain to be solved ahead of the summit's climax.

Correspondents say suspicions among poor countries that rich ones are ganging up on them - which prompted a walk-out on Monday - remain strong.

Piss up and brewery come to mind.

First up:

Three policemen have been disciplined after four young women ran amok in a police station, dressing up in officers’ clothing before posting the pictures of themselves on the internet.

Officers struggled to regain control as the four, dressed in short skirts and low-cut tops after a night out, ran around secure areas in Burton upon Trent police station, Staffs, trying on hats, coats and boots.
They posed for pictures draped over squad cars, inside a vehicle and even in the men’s locker room.

When officers ordered the women not to take photographs “for security reasons” they were ignored.

Even when police managed to get the clothes back off them and entice them out of the station with an offer of a lift home, they found some more police jackets inside the vehicle and resumed their game.

The pictures were later posted on Facebook, the social networking site.

The high jinks began in unlikely circumstances: after two of the women were allegedly caught up in a fight involving other women in the town’s Barracuda bar on Dec 5.

Two of them were allegedly hurt in incident and were taken to the police station to be interviewed as victims, while the others went to give witness statements.

When one of them asked to wash some blood off her face, she was shown into a bathroom next to the locker area. She and her friends helped themselves to boots, reflective coats and police caps.

Police repeatedly tried to stop them, but their orders were “not heeded or firmly enforced”, according to an official police account of the incident.

The three officers were “advised about their conduct” and transferred to other parts of the county after an internal inquiry, a statement said.

Makes you proud, doesn’t it.

Prepare to be Boared, at least if you live in Darmstadt, south of Frankfurt.

German police have rescued four frozen walkers who called up from a waste container begging to be saved from roving wild boars

they received an emergency call at nearly 3 a.m. Sunday (0200 GMT Sunday; 9 p.m. EDT) from a man who said he and three companions had fled into the container after being surprised by a group of boars during a night time walk in the woods. He said they didn't dare to emerge.

A police statement Monday says that a patrol found the four shivering in the metal container and escorted them from the scene.

And the Boars? They obviously got bored and went away.

The North Face Apparel Corp. is suing parody company called The South Butt and the teenager who started it.

The lawsuit filed last week in federal court in St. Louis seeks unspecified damages and asks the court to prohibit The South Butt from marketing and selling its parody product line.

The North Face says it does not comment on pending litigation.

The South Butt’s attorney, Albert Watkins, says the company was started by 18-year-old Jimmy Winkelmann to help pay for college. It puts out products with the tag line “Never Stop Relaxing,” a parody of The North Face line, “Never Stop Exploring.”

The parody company sells T-shirts, fleece jackets and sweatshirts on its Web site.

No sense of humour.

And finally:

Alfred Turley, a disabled pensioner, was given a parking ticket for not displaying his blue badge - while he was in a council office having it checked.

The 71 year-old great-grandfather from Oldbury, West Midlands, was asked to show his badge at a parking control office in West Bromwich when he tried to void a previous ticket, according to the Express and Star.

Mr Turley, a retired steelworker who walks with crutches due to chronic knee problems, was inside the office for a matter of minutes, but returned to his car to find he had been issued with the £35 penalty notice by a zealous traffic warden.

He immediately went back inside the office to contest the charge, but was told by staff at the office that they were unable to void it, leaving him no choice but to pay the fine.

Mr Turley, a father of four who has been widowed for 23 years, said: “I couldn’t believe it. They asked me to fetch my badge and when I returned I had a ticket.

“I just thought they’d cancel it on the spot when I went back inside.

“But they said there was nothing I could do and I had to pay it.”

Mahboob Hussain of Sandwell Council said: “The gentleman could have parked in a bay where he did not need to display his badge.”

However, he said that the ticket would be voided if Mr Turley appealed.

The December Jobsworth award goes to West Bromwich council.