Of all the animals of prey, man is the only sociable one.
Every one of us preys upon his neighbour, and yet we herd together.
The Beggar's Opera: John Gay

Wednesday 27 May 2009

'A Bromsgrovian's Lament' or 'The Song of Kirkbride'

(With apologies to John Betjeman - or for those of a musical persuasion, The Song of the Clyde)

Ms Julie Kirkbride, Ms Julie Kirkbride,
You're in real trouble, it can't be denied;
There are some things the voters find hard to forgive
Like the fact that you don't seem to know where you live.

In your box room your brother lives five years rent-free,
Claims a grand’s worth of gadgets on a fun high-tech spree;
It’s of course a coincidence, no more or less,
That his IT firm's based at the selfsame address.

As what of your sister, who pockets twelve grand
Of taxpayers’ money for lending a hand
When your secretary’s absent? That’s pretty good pay
For odd jobs done two hundred miles away.

So put up your hands and admit to the way
You’ve exploited the system and made us all pay;
Now the scandal is out there is nowhere to hide,
They won’t rest till you’re history, Ms Julie Kirkbride.

For an interesting and varied collection of comments on this issue, see Iain Dale's Diary 27/5 'In Defence of Julie Kirkbride'.


  1. What is astonishing is that so many did not see this one coming, or to appreciate the implications. Yet their bio's almost all have reams of education or what. Mad, totally mad for someone in a safe Midlands seat.

  2. I suspect that safe seats may be at the root of some of this business; after all, if you think you're there for life, you're not going to worry about the odd expenses fiddle coming to light -
    'Oops, sorry! I forgot to mention my paid-off mortgage/husband's second home allowance/servants' quarters, but you'll still vote for me, won't you?'

    Or, alternatively, 'There's no chance I'll get back in at the next election, so I'll pocket as much as I can on expenses now'.

    Either way, I agree that it shows a breathtaking disregard for the consequences and implications, but I suspect willful ignorance and an ingrained contempt for the voters may be at least partly to blame.


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