Britain's second highest paid councillor, Brian Coleman, has hit out at criticism from the local government minister Grant Shapps. Coleman says it's OK him getting nearly £120,000 in allowances for all his elected posts because he doesn't have any other means of support, unlike Shapps, "the multi millionaire Grant Shapps... The one with the private plane... The successful businessman..."
This is the sort of argument that the Chartists made for why MPs should be paid: if they aren't, only the rich can be politicians. The Chartists were right, but there's pay and there's pay! Does Coleman need so much pay? Does anyone need so much pay?
He gets so much because, in theory, he is doing a demanding job, two demanding jobs, er, three demanding jobs. How does he find the time to do three demanding jobs? Perhaps he should step down from one of them, or two, or three.
Class war is breaking out in the Tory party between the aristos and plutocrats at the top, the Shapps, Osbornes and Camerons, who "can afford" to take a pay cut, in order to set a good example to the rest of us, and petit-bourgeois party members like Brian Coleman. If Coleman takes a pay cut he'll slip down to the level of the common man. It is the classic case of the petit-bourgeois being squeezed in a crisis, desperately trying not to be forced down into the working class.
Come on down, Brian. It's not so bad. We'll all shove up and make room for you. Read about the spat in the Telegraph.