What has happened to the price of haircuts?
Many years ago, I was a member of the Labour Party. From 1977 to 1992, I would eagerly get in my car and drive off to help in election campaigns. I was one of many to do so. Even 'though I never earned £10,000 in any of those years and in half of them I earned less than £6,000 I would never have thought of claiming expenses.
So I feel today for Labour Party members who are being taken for a ride. of course, they are used to the Prime Minister ignoring their opinions. But now we see a picture of the true level of contempt for the rank and file in Cherie Blair whose poverty makes me want to weep claiming £7,700 from the party to cover haircuts in the last election. That is money from decent party members and those who have forgotten to opt out of their union's political levies.
None of these people need a "traitor" such as me to fight their cause although if I was still in the Labour Party, my next branch meeting if it allowed talk of such things, would be a little noisy.
No, my main concerns are directed in other places.
Firstly, I am horrified at the response of the Labour Party on the matter. In part I am amazed there was a response as I know of few people who get a response other than to protestation of love to the leader. Think me naive but I was shocked at the arrogance of the response. Firstly came a "So what?" Then came a "Don't forget we won!" Yes Tony Blair's favourite response when he can't be bothered to answer a difficult question in the house of Commons.
All this arrogance seems to be out of control. We have had donations from gambling concerns, pornographers and arms companies. Never so much as an apology for dragging the Party of lansbury and Bevan in the gutter. Mittai and Ecclestone even got policy changes and now to pay for such costs we find clear evidence of the sale of honours as Labour evade their own rules by suggesting loansa rather than donations. Just like Mr David Mills with his spivvy operations, Labour has fallen in love with filthy lucre. The result of all of this is a political class that has lost the capacity to inspire those who do not have memory problems.
Secondly, I am appalled at the inflation in hairdressing costs which has obviously past me by. I have never paif more than £5 for my rather exquisite har to be cut. As far as I know, we have never paid more than £15 for my wife and daughter both to have their hair cut although I think I might just check the bank statements more closely in future. Anyhow, my wife would be horrified if I suggested that she needs to pay for daily hairdos. It is not as 'though the results were that impressive.
I suggest that Mrs Blair learns a paraphrase of a infamous comment of Marie Antoinette and apllies it to herself if her hair is such a problem that she needs people struggling with mortgages to bail her out. I say, "Let her wear hats!"
Finally, I come to the serious point of this post. This affair is a sign that politics is increasingly about image rather than substance. Perhaps that is not new. After all it used to be said that, "Politics is showbiz for ugly people." I suggest that those who seek to rule us, remove themselves from this celebrity fix. For sure as God made little green apples, I will not reconcile myself to state funding of political parties, as is increasingly suggested as the way out of the honours mire, to support such vanity which makes me reach out for the sick bag.