It’s OK to have foibles and fetishes, especially if you’re a girl. It can be kinda endearing – think Holly Golightly, or SJP and her shoe problem. Trouble is, these don’t wash so well when the public is paying for your little indulgences and you are generally credited with being halfway responsible.
Siobhain McDonagh, Labour MP for Mitcham and Mordern, seems to have a stationery fixation – how else can her whopping £49,000.00 stationery bill for the last financial year be explained? The breakdown actually comprises ‘just’ £14,000.00 on sundry office bits, and £35,000.00 on pre-paid envelopes. Has she got shares in the Royal Mail or something? (not a good idea when it is in a state of near collapse and it is quicker to walk most letters to their destination than it is to risk them to the black hole of the average sorting office: but Londonist digresses). What is the woman thinking of? This Londonista can get off as much as the next blogger on the smell of new paper, shiny biteable-looking erasers with cute Japanese thingummybobs on and rows of squeaky new colour-co-ordinated files – but £14,000.00 worth?
McDonagh reckons she likes to keep in touch with her constituents and so sends them lots of letters. Londonist reckons she’d have done better striking a deal with some of those pizza leafleteers – ‘Dear Friend’ letters from politicians surely end up in the same place as unsolicited takeaway menus anyway.
But this is of course just the tip of the MP pr-iceberg, as the annual expense accounts of most UK politicians have been made public today. Londonist won’t be the only one a-ranting a-raving – the cynical and the disenchanted will be feeding off this data for days.
Picture courtesy of happyliving’s flickr stream.