Look Left: MP’s pay, Egypt and UKIP’s toxic underbelly

James Bloodworth looks back at the week’s politics, including our progressive, regressive and evidence of the week.

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• The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) is likely to recommend on Friday that MPs receive an inflation-busting pay increase of £10,000.

The independent body, set up so that MPs were not voting to increase their own pay, is expected to propose that MPs’ salaries rise from their current level of £65,738 to around £75,000.

Understandably many feel aggrieved by this, including here at Left Foot Forward. While we understand that MPs should be reasonably paid so the profession does not become little more than a hobby for the privileged, at a time when living standards are stagnant an inflation-busting pay increase for MPs would sit uncomfortably with many.

This week Left Foot Forward looked at five arguments against paying MPs more.

• Developments in Egypt has moved quickly over the past few days, with President Mohamed Morsi deposed in what appears to be a military coup after just a year in power.

In recent days huge protests have filled Tahrir Square in scenes reminiscent of the movement that toppled former President Hosni Mubarak in 2011. Protesters’ opposition to Morsi appears to hinge on two central tenets: the Morsi government’s economic ineptitude and the ruling Freedom and Justice Party’s incursion upon secularism and women’s rights.

This week Left Foot Forward looked at the rise (and in the case of Egypt the fall) of leaders like Morsi: the democratators.

• This week UKIP again revealed their true colours, with the party’s health spokesman calling for the introduction of charges in the NHS for A&E patients.

This wasn’t the only unpalatable news to emerge from the UKIP camp, either. It was reported on Wednesday that Nigel Farage’s MEPs had backed French far-right leader Marine Le Pen in a vote on whether to remove her parliamentary immunity for comparing French Muslims to Nazis.

This week Left Foot Forward reported on both stories before anyone else. In other words, we watch UKIP so you don’t have to.

Progressive of the Week:

This week Theresa May announced a six week consultation into the use of stop and search powers by police, after years of evidence that its application has disproportionately singled out ethnic minorities.

As it turns out, the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) had to some extent forced the home secretary’s hand.

The EHRC had commenced legal action against two police forces in 2010 because of the controversial measure, and stop and search was suspended after a formal agreement was reached between the EHRC and the two forces to look in more detail at the controversial procedure.

Regressive of the week:

Boris Johnson gave the go ahead this week for the demolition of the Earls Court Exhibition Centre as part of plans to create a 77-acre redevelopment site in Earls Court and West Kensington.

Despite being worth over a billion pounds to London’s real economy and hosting hundreds of events each year, the Earl’s Court Exhibition centers are to be demolished to make way for what the Independent calls a “playground for the super rich”.

This week the Green Party’s Darren Johnson looked at what London is set to lose when the exhibition centre goes.

Evidence of the Week:

Private landlords are out-bidding first-time buyers and pushing house prices out of the reach of many young people, according to a new report.

The Strategic Society Centre has called on the government to “tip the balance” back in favour of first time buyers and prevent landlords using their “equity advantage” to buy up empty homes, locking young people out of the property market.

Analysis by the Strategic Society Centre found that the average age of private landlords was 48 and the average age of renters 32. Mean financial wealth of landlords was £75,103 and the median £20,500, compared to just £9,506 mean and £398 median for renters.

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12 Responses to “Look Left: MP’s pay, Egypt and UKIP’s toxic underbelly”

  1. riverbank

    No need to watch Ukip for me as I follow them with a passion, they are the only party that talks any common sense which this country is now lacking due to the other 3 parties.
    If your treatment is not an emergency then you wait, you only pay if you think you are more important than the rest of us. I also think it is a good move to consider treatment cautiously for those who are drunk.
    On the subject of Marine Le Penn, I this is fast becoming a crazy world when words are stopped from being
    said by the bully boys. I am glad Ukip wont back the move and wont be
    bullied for standing up freedom of speech, thats what is so refreshing
    about them. Why do muslims have to take to the streets anyway to pray,
    very odd, its like they want their presence to be known.

  2. Two Bob

    Left foot down a rabbit hole. *Some* Muslims can be compared to Nazis. Islamic extremism is fascist. I do not understand why lefties defend it so fiercely. Is it because of America and Israel?

    A Labour councillor is potentially in breach of his council’s code of conduct after refusing to work with a resident he discovered is now a UKIP candidate. Just about says it all.

  3. Suffolk lad

    It seems that only Ukip is sufficiently principled to defend free speech. The other three main, now leftist parties, LibLabCon are not. The point about Marie Le Pen is that, whether you agree with her or not, she has the right to speak out on a matter of very considerable importance to Parisians. The “main” parties are being their usual PC selves and abandoning the vital principle of any true democratic society of free speech. Why does the left bow to exotic foreign faiths rooted historically in countries with no freedom or democracy, in any meaningful way? Do they recognize a familiarity, of a tendency to control, I ask ?

  4. Dave Watson

    This week Left Foot Forward reported on both stories before anyone else. In other words, we watch UKIP so you don’t have to.

  5. Dave Watson

    In case you dummies learn the truth and not the leftie brain washing, sorry you first have to have one that works

  6. Stuart Parr

    Nigel Farage defends free speech. Wow, that’s sure to be a vote loser.

  7. Stuart Parr

    And the Labour candidate who had to withdraw from that election because of his job is the partner of the Labour councillor who refused to help the UKIP candidate (who won incidentally). Prejudice on the left is deep rooted, as its nepotism.

  8. Cole

    Yep, we’ve got to have freedom of expression for fascists because we know how much they value that kind of thing.

  9. Cole

    Not forgetting that the Tories are in bed with a bunch of nutters and antisemiltes in Europe.

  10. Jimmy

    Grow up.

  11. Fred Upwithis

    Well I’ve been watching the Le Pen story for a while now, it’s very interesting.

    MEPs immunity is to protect their freedom of expression from politically motivated prosecutions while they represent their consituents.

    The non-UKIP MEPs on the legal affairs committee stripped Le Pen of this protection. Previously, good little federalist MEPs accused on tax evasion and fraud have kept their immunity.

    That’s disgraceful, and you’ve got a nerve defending it.

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