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Oh this beggars belief!!!!

Worse, Sally, cumulatively, it's beggaring us!

If they pay another £645 can they change the Deputy Prime Minister for a cardboard cutout?

And how much did the Written Question cost to answer? Probably close to the same amount.

Hmmmm, i just wonder whether some of the cash for the sign went to check whether 2 Sh**s' secretary could spell 'bizi'! Chortle!

This really is the equivalent of "let them eat cake". As cash strapped departments like the NHS and MOD make stringent cutbacks, John Prescott spends our taxes on a new door sticker which he could have bought down the high street for a fraction of the cost.
No wonder we keep wondering where all the trillions of government "investment" has gone.

Yup, this sign on its own isn't much to holler about, but we can well imagine that such extravagance permeates a lot of Government spending.

It's a classic case of over-excitement at spending other people's money.

In the greater game of government spending and mis-management this paltry sum is a drop in the ocean and hardly worth bothering about.
What is galling, is that that fat tosser is still in office, still lording it over the ordinary people, spreading his sedition of classs warfare and getting chippy with the civil servants.
Just what exactly do you have to do these days to get junked from a NuLab sinecure, murder?, obstruct justice by destroying evidence in an enquiry?, gross incompetence?, waste?, corruption?, having an affair?. It seems that NuLab are bullet proof.
One only hopes that the next Tory government will begin a serious enquiry into NuLab and if any are found to have committed any breach of the law, however trivial, they should be brought to book. As for Blair and Brown their mendacity has known no bounds and a rope is too good for them.

What a pedantic question! Why should we not spend money on our politicians? I am frankly disgusted at teh sort of puerile political pointscoring that goes on by people disseminating every last penny of government spending. So he got the sign to his office changed, big deal.

I'm more bothered about the millions upon millions wasted putting more beureucrats in new offices.

And whilst I am on about it I am embarrassed that our Prime Minister has to make do with charter flights when he is on official business.

It only goes to show that the cost of living justifies Goldman Sachs in helping out its London staff with big bonuses

"I'm more bothered about the millions upon millions wasted"

Yes, but the government doesn't go and write a cheque for millions and millions. It writes countless cheques for £645 which add up to million. Jeez.

Ask this simple question: If it was your own money, would you spend it? A new door sign or a skiing holiday? Not a difficult choice for people spending their own money.

P.S. How do you get government contracts for door signs? Seems like a good lark.

Yes these expensive changes for the sake of change are pretty sickening, aren't they?

They put me in mind of those idiots who threw out the once-proud Tory torch and replaced it with a meaningless childish sketch of a piece of broccoli.

Maybe someone would like to remind us how much that piece of idiocy cost?

Sorry George Hinton but no new Government would ever "begin a serious enquiry" into their predecessors and "if any are found to have committed any breach of the law, however trivial, they should be brought to book." That would be a very dangerous precedent for any politician to set, after all eventually they will have sucessors who could very well then do the same thing to them and that would never do at all. Self serving and self perpetuating oligarchies the lot of 'em.

ValeDICKtoryan - Tell that to the people who work in 'community cohesion' in local authorities, or to the NHS for their bungled computer, or to those who designed and built Hollyrood... the list of big capital and revenue spending wastes is staggering.


At 16:13 today someone asked whether the money should have been spent on "A new door sign or a skiing holiday?"

I think we should have given Prezza a skiing holiday rather than a door sign as:
(1) whilst away ski-ing he could not be ****ing anything up in his office; and
(2) if the press got pics of him ski-ing they might be quite entertaining.

At least, if the newspaper reports are correct, we can be reassured that when Two jabs finally HAS to leave office, he is going to 'do his thing' to 'redeem' his tarnished reputation (what reputation?). He will be rolling down to some pre-determined dock area or another OR several, together with suitable 'helpers' (to do all the actual work, whatever), and having given everyone who bothers to listen the benefit of his, incredible english, he will then go and reassure the local 'ladies of the night' (couldn't possibly leave them out - and I would be prepared to take a bet on that!). Much later, with a self-satisfied look lightening the everlasting scowl, he will roll away homewards, satisfied that he has followed in John Porfumo's footsteps ---- as if!!!!!!!!!

Sir Geoffrey Howe and Michael Heseltine never did anything like this when they were Deputy MP did they?

'Right Wingery' - makes a very good point in my humble view.

This is a non story. Oliver Heald has done well to bring it to light because it isn't good for the government but there are issues that need more publicity than this one.

I agree with David Walker. This is just the sort of niggling, chippy little story about the government, which causes that fin de siecle feeling at the tail end of any government. Utterly unimportant as a story it, is a matter of mood. Mandelson and Campbell used to produce these stories daily in 1996 and we celebrate one in 2006. Well done Heald, P45s for our other MPs.

The Labour Party responses on this blog, questioning the cost of the question or suggesting the sum is insignificant, miss the point. This is public money being flung around by a government in its death throes. As Valdictoryan rightly observes public spending is made up of millions of £645. £645 is a lot of money to a pensioner on a small income. A £ wasted is a £ not available for use for an operation or other medical treatment. Everybody in public office has duty to ensure that they are proper guardians of the public's money and get value for the taxpayer.

Sir Geoffrey Howe and Michael Heseltine never did anything like this when they were Deputy MP did they?
Michael Hestletine when he became President of the Board of Trade and went around being referred to as "President Hestletine" for a bit, his first action apparently was to find the biggest office in the building and make it his office and so there was an almost entirely empty office with a desk at the end of it - it's like something out of Citizen Kane or The Trial.

Of course he was mocked in the press and by the Opposition and notably by John Prescott and after when he became First Secretary of State (which unlike his role of Deputy PM is an official position), John Prescott succeeded him and did many of the same things. Barbara Castle and Willie Whitelaw on the other hand didn't bother with the high prestige and big offices, especially Barbara Castle got on actually using the power of the role to get things done.

So far as I can see as President of the Board of Trade, Mr Hestletine having promised a bonfire of regulations and scrapped a few promptly agreed to more regulations than had ever been approved by any Secretary of State for the dti before and also sizeably increased dti grants (surely a return towards the corporatism under Edward Heath), then as First Secretary of State all I can recall from his time is some kind of idiotic animal roadsign with a hotline number - Larry the Lion or some such thing.

It's an attitude of the establishment and the whole political system that is the problem, that has to be changed otherwise there will be another person doing what John Prescott and Michael Hestletine were doing - they might be a Labour Person and they might be a Conservative Person.

£645 might well be too insignificant an amount to get very hot under the collar about but it could represent quite a lot of money for many people and that waste will be more realistic for them than talk of the millions that Gordon Waste-a-lot habitually squanders.
The sum would also buy 4 bullet-proof vests for soldiers on active service in Iraq and Afghanistan!


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