Saturday, 7 June 2008

Nanny state revisited

Peter Spencer has just been on again - this time he compared Ms Spelman's alleged transgressions to "going through traffic lights a bit dodgily and finding a camera on you". I think he also said it was a bit unfair on her, and may have used the phrase 'not a hanging offence'. I was just waiting for him to describe it as a 'whoops-a-daisy' moment (© Giles Chicester MEP).

So, for the benefit of Mr Spencer, let's clarify what's under discussion here. Either the 'nanny' was legitimately employed as a constituency secretary, and was paid out of public funds purely and solely for doing such secretarial work - in which case, nothing dodgy, nothing wrong, case closed. Or she was paid out of public funds for looking after Ms Spelman's children. Which is undeniably dodgy and wrong and not allowed under parliamentary rules.

I would actually have some sympathy for Ms Spelman if she'd occasionally had to dump the kids on her office staff because the nanny was running late or if she'd suddenly had an emergency crop up. Kids sat in the corner with their colouring books while the staff get on with office work; probably happens every now and again in Westminster, hence many MPs' calls for a parliamentary creche. (At certain crucial votes there's often a kind of pass the parcel in the Government whips' office, as the mothers race through the division lobbies and then run back to retrieve their babies so that the 'babysitters' can vote, which can get pretty ridiculous).

We'll see what the parliamentary standards commissioner has to say.

1 comment:

Kerry said...

Breaking news on Sky is that the nanny now says she did childcare AND secretarial work....