Thursday, 31 January 2008

A story of Peat Bogs and Heather

When I heard that 'Scientists' had put Heather on top of Peat Boggs, it immediately summoned risquĂ© visions a la ‘Carry on up the Peak District’, Or a worthy ‘joy of love’ sex manual - One hopes they are at least good friends, etc.

Well - I say! We’re measuring the emissions Misses…

More prosaically it seems the intent is to restore the balance of the Peak District bogs, by growing live heather on them, to prevent erosion and possible resultant carbon dioxide emissions.

What next? Gagging MPs? There is a source of carbon dioxide emissions if ever there was one ;-)

British MPs may be banned from employing family members.

In the wake of the Derek Conway affair there are calls for MPs to be banned from employing family members.

Whilst many of us have little time for MPs in general it seems a little OTT to ban them from employing family members. Who they employ should just be more transparent and accountable. There should be some check that the work is actually carried out and the pay reasonable for it.

It has not been unknown for an MP to marry their secretary. Are they to be forced to sack them if they do and would that not contravene their rights?

There are other family businesses that work well enough and no one questions at all. The problem here is that public money is involved. Still we allow MPs to set their own wages and hours. To some extent this is as open to abuse as the employing of family members.

Surely a member of an MP’s family who was actually doing what they were paid for, at a fare rate, would be more likely to have the MP’s interests at heart, be more loyal, trustworthy and discreet, far less open to being turned by a reporter.

Maybe parliament should have something like (dare I say it), an HR department, to oversee the employment contracts, wages, expenses and hours - to keep things more honest and above-board on a more formal basis.