Facepalm: A gesture in which the palm of one's hand is brought to one's face as an expression of dismay, exasperation, embarrassment, etc.
There are times when you see or hear something so mindbogglingly stupid that you facepalm yourself, yesterday I suspect that most of the government did just that. I know I did when I read the comment by Mr Boo. It was so utterly, incomprehensibly, stupid that I just put my palm to my face and shook my head. Words failed me.
Before you read any further put down any drinks and make sure you are not holding any sharp objects.
For those of us that are not familiar with the name Boo, Marcial Boo is the chief executive of the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa).
You may remember from a while ago all that furore about MPs getting a 10% increase. Well I don’t know where Mr Boo lives but it isn’t this world as he clearly has absolutely no idea what things have been like for the last few years.
What he has done is opened his mouth and revealed his true feelings on the matter of MPs pay, what he has said is:
“MPs did an important job and should not be paid “a miserly amount” for their services”.
OK when you have stopped facepalming yourself and spluttering you can pick up your drink again. I will not be repeating that unbelievably insulting statement again.
Insulting, yes it is. It blatantly insults every man and woman in this country who has spent the last few years on frozen wages or a token 1% maximum increase.
It insults every person in this country who has watched their income fall year after year as inflation has lept far ahead of wages.
It insults every man and woman in the public secor who has struggled to make ends meet as their income falls year by year due to a government policy of austerity.
It insults the one million plus people going cap in hand to the food banks.
It insults the five million plus people who are forced to claim tax credits to make up for part time or full time jobs that pay them less than a living wage.
That is the word Mr Boo used, miserly. Pitiably small or inadequate. Paltry, negligible, lamentable, beggarly, deficient, insubstantial, skimpy!
I don’t care if MPs are paid less than their counterparts across Europe, millions of people in this country are paid far less than they would like, millions are not paid enough to live on and yet this, person, this man, this complete imbecile who clearly does not have a clue, he stands there and describes our MPs salaries as miserly.
GB PLC's senior staff, the MPs, are hardly suffering. A basic wage of £67,000 which is far above the average, expenses that in some cases double or more their income. Subsidised food and drink, all the perks that parliament provides, housing allowances for second homes in London and probably a damn sight more.
Yet this level of income, in excess of £150,000 a year for some, is described as Miserly.
As I have said before I would happily have the MPs paid a fixed sum of £100,000 or a bit more and provide them with a hotel to stay at when they are in parliament but NO expenses. But have the common sense to do this when the economy is doing well.
A 10% pay rise at a time when everyone in this country who has had no choice but to take 1% or less in pay rises for years now is a kick in the teeth.
No, this is not just a kick in the teeth, this is a deliberate aggravated verbal assault. To describe MPs pay as miserly when they are taking home sums that are all but unthinkable to ten million people or more in this country who are dependent on benefits to claw their way to £13,000 a year is completely unacceptable.
When the 10% pay rise was first put forward last year much was made of the fact that it was being proposed by an independent body that was not part of any political party. Sadly it seems they are not part of the real world either.
Many MPs did little to object to this, senior MPs came out and formed a chorus singing us a song about how it was not their fault because it was an independent body. We had a few promises to refuse the pay rise but generally our caring MPs kept their heads down and waited till the anger have gone before going back to business as usual.
Now that 10% pay rise has just caught up with our MPs again and it has been reintroduced to us by a man who seems completely unaware of what has happened and what is happening in this country. A clear Ivory Tower comment, saying what he thinks without bothering to even pretend that he cares about what the peasants think.
The man used the word miserly.
How out of touch do you have to be to think that way?
How out of touch are you to think using that word is acceptable?
How out of touch must you be to ignore tens of millions who are struggling to make do on far less than the miserly sum of £67,000 plus expenses?
How out of touch do you need to be to ignore reality?
Mr Boo. As you head home to the ivory tower don’t forget to feed the unicorns and say hello to the fairies.