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BetterTogether
25-Sep-15, 17:51
Standing on chairs in Parliament’s Sports and Social bar, a band of portly gentlemen are bellowing out Scottish folk songs. A young barmaid, only in her early twenties yet a seasoned veteran when it comes to turfing out unruly Westminster soaks, approaches a new SNP MP and politely asks him to pack it in.
Words are exchanged.
Multiple witnesses allege a drunken ‘f— you’ is uttered.
Defeated, the barmaid retreats behind the bar to mocking male laughter.
So upset is she by the incident, she will leave her job a few weeks later. ‘They’re only just getting started,’ sighs a Labour wag as he reaches for his coat.
The conquering horde of Scots Nats have come to town and they are making themselves heard.SW1 certainly expected the worst from the new SNP cohort.
As the Glasgow East MP Natalie McGarry puts it, ‘They thought we would come down waving flags, with our faces painted blue and white.’
Yet those preconceptions were not without substance.
An extraordinary, never-before-seen document written by disgruntled SNP aides — and passed to me while researching this article — reveals that even the party’s own employees have been horrified by their MPs’ behaviour for a while. In their own staff’s words, the Westminster group are described as ‘complete arseholes’ and Alex Salmond is nicknamed ‘Mr Terror’, while Angus MacNeil is accused of being ‘arrogant, demanding and in general behaving like a five-year-old… [He] has some problems understanding why he is here, although the Sports and Social bar is extremely happy that he is.’
To find out whether the new intake are living up to their reputation, Westminster’s watering holes are the only place to begin.
The Sports and Social is traditionally a Labour haunt, earning it the nickname ‘Sports and Socialist’. Just two weeks after polling day, to quote one Blairite boozehound, it had been ‘colonised’ by the Scots.
Such are their imperial ambitions, SNP MPs confirm with almost embarrassed smiles their plans to have it officially renamed the ‘Rabbie Burns Bar’.
At kicking-out time, it’s over to the infamous Strangers’ Bar.
A taxpayer-subsidised tot of Scotch here is just 2.55, yet despite the SNP’s arrival, the managers have not had cause to double their orders.
'Most of them only drink champagne,’ claims my man behind the bar, only half-joking.
His theory is that the 67,000-a-year MP’s salary is a considerable pay rise for many of his new punters, and that they are enjoying their newfound riches in style.
This is an allegation heartily rebuffed by ‘real ale man’ and Midlothian MP Owen Thompson, who is having beer from his local Stewart brewery shipped in and put on tap.
Bubbly or ale in hand, the terrace is a place where MPs forget the adversarial nature of the chamber and, their inhibitions loosened, have a good gossip with politicians from other tribes.
Not so the Nats, of whom one rival party hand complains they ‘all stand together in a huddle by themselves, not talking to anyone else’.
A case of dour Scots? Natalie McGarry insists she has had ‘a good bit of conversation’ with ‘amenable’ Labour colleagues, but that while ‘some Tory MPs are unfailingly polite, some of them are stuck up their own bahookies.’
I barely have time to ask how one might spell that, before she is telling me what happens when the SNP stick to non-alcoholic beverages.
‘A cabinet minister came up to us,’ McGarry recalls, ‘and said “Fruit juice? I would have thought you Scots would have been on the booze.”’
In an example of Westminster Jockophobia, she claims the minister’s aide then turned to her boss and sneered: ‘Now they’re here we’ll have to start nailing things down.’There are eight new SNP MPs under 30, and the younger generation have quickly taken over Westminster’s premier 3 a.m. dive: the Players Bar in the Charing Cross Theatre.
When 20-year-old Mhairi Black is not wowing the House with her eloquence, she is impressing revellers on the dance floor.
‘A bit reserved early on, but that’s understandable,’ reports a fellow clubber.
‘She was dancing away with the rest of us by the end of the night.’ Black’s colleague Stuart Donaldson, the 23-year old MP for West Aberdeenshire, has meanwhile undergone something of a transformation. ‘He was the most socially awkward person here when he first turned up,’ laughs an admiring colleague. ‘Now you never see him without his harem of attractive blonde girls.’
He would not be the first Honourable Member to find the trappings of power have improved his success with women, but he might be one of the youngest.After a night out, where do the SNP regiment go to lay their weary heads? ‘The last thing you want is folk swanning around Belgravia on the taxpayer,’ warns the highly rated Argyll and Bute MP Brendan O’Hara, adding without a hint of irony: ‘A lot of folk are in Pimlico.’ That would be the highly desirable central location dubbed the ‘second Belgravia’ by estate agents.
O’Hara himself is taking advantage of gentrification: ‘I’m down in Elephant and Castle. I lived in London in the 1990s and it had an awful reputation. Someone said to me, “Look at Elephant and Castle,” and I thought, “Oh I don’t think so.” But what a transformation! What you could get in Glasgow for your IPSA [expenses] allowance here, well you could get anything you want.
It’s remarkable.’The ginger-bearded Owen Thompson is a Midlothian man at the weekend, but during the week he lives in Kensington. He tells me of his initial shock at being quoted a price of 350 a week for a high-end property in west London, but was chuffed to haggle 25 off the final price: ‘Doing my bit for the taxpayer.’
Early hopes for flat shares between laddish MPs petered out, leaving much of the new contingent dotted around Vauxhall and Kennington. ‘Almost everyone I know lives within walking distance of Parliament,’ explains O’Hara. A Tory source recounts recently bumping into the SNP deputy leader and relative Westminster veteran Stewart Hosie outside the Scot’s ultra-luxury apartment at Great Minster House, where a flat can fetch up to 6 million. ‘Even I can’t afford to live here,’ exclaimed the envious Tory, to which Hosie protested: ‘It’s a shoebox!’Other than the cosy living arrangements, what has been the biggest surprise? ‘The food,’ says Paisley and Renfrewshire North MP Gavin Newlands, gushing about the ‘good value’ of the subsidised Commons cafeteria. Outside of the Parliamentary estate, the Nats have been a little more adventurous.
Natalie McGarry is outed by colleagues as the organiser of an SNP team dinner at the upmarket Cinnamon Kitchen in the heart of the City.
The sister restaurant of Westminster’s opulent Cinnamon Club, the Kitchen’s extensive menu offers spiced red deer for 29 and Pinot Noir at 100 a bottle.
Forty-five out of the 56 SNP MPs attended.‘This isn’t a change of job, it’s a change of life,’ admits O’Hara, and for him the most difficult adjustment has been the Palace of Westminster itself. ‘Labyrinth doesn’t begin to describe it,’ he says. ‘I find myself running up staircases and wandering around for hours thinking, “How do I get back?” I’d love to get into the mind of the architect.’ For McGarry, the change in climate has caused more serious concerns: ‘I woke up one morning and I had massive lumps all over me!’ Had moving 400 miles nearer to the equator left her susceptible to tropical diseases? ‘I went into a tailspin thinking I had bed bugs, so I went to the nurse. She just scoffed at me.’ The Nats were expecting plenty of bite south of the border, but they had not bargained for mosquitoes.
Watching them sip champagne on the Commons terrace and hearing about their fine dining and luxurious flats, one cannot help but feel the SNP’s new intake are already becoming the very metropolitan elite they claim to despise. ‘There is a real danger with that,’ admits Owen Thompson. ‘It is absolutely in your face all the time. I hope we’re not showing we’re all getting caught up in the establishment.’‘You could get into bad habits,’ cautions McGarry. ‘I think people could get swept into the Westminster state of mind.’ She advises colleagues ‘to get out of that bubble’, warning it is ‘not healthy’ to ‘socialise too much’. O’Hara disagrees, insisting ‘it’s really important that we don’t go around as a tribe and that we get to know a lot of people down here.’But one man is resolute. ‘I’m not going out,’ scowls Gavin Newlands: ‘I don’t want to be part of the bubble. It’s almost a different planet down here, rather than a different city.’ A different planet indeed, and its gravitational pull is proving hard for the SNP to resist.


http://life.spectator.co.uk/2015/09/the-snp-run-riot-at-westminster/

rob murray
28-Sep-15, 12:22
Well....reads sensationlist journo speak ....but its from the spectator.......and westmister is a "bubble" / unreal place....London is like another planet...so it comes as no surprise if the 56 are sucked into the metropolitan elite or rather are largely behaving like the elite...cos thats what they are part of

squidge
28-Sep-15, 13:38
What a load of rubbish. Even Lord George Foulkes said this was a right wing hatchet job and he HATES the SNP.

I have to wonder is it a coincidence that as David Cameron was trying desperately to live down the pig in a poke story... ( or should that be the poke in ..... Maybe I won't go there lol) this appears in the Spectator. That upholder of all things Tory.

Can you imagine the conversation?

We need to get this pigs head off the front pages - I know we'll write a story about the "barmy army" and get Kelvin Mackenzie to refer to Scotland as "jockistan" that should do the trick old chap.

rob murray
28-Sep-15, 13:50
What a load of rubbish. Even Lord George Foules said this was a right wing hatchet job and he HATES the SNP. Is it a coincidence that as David Cameron was trying desperately to live down the pig in a poke story... ( or should that be the poke in ..... Maybe I won't go there lol) this appears in the Spectator. That upholder of all things Tory. Can you imagine the conversation? We need to get this pigs head off the front pages - I know we'll write a story about the "barmy army" and get Kelvin Mackenzie to refer to Scotland as "jockistan" that should do the trick old chap. Jeezo

Putting it that way....yep yer right.....the Cameron story is nearly dead now though, he played it right, no response ! Compare Camerons "revelations" though, boisterous spolied rich brat student, doing a bit of dope, snorting some charlie, poking a pigs head, typical student stuff, ok the pigs heads a bit to far, charlie is to expensive , dope yep no big deal there , mind Clinton way back 23 years ago, "took a toke...didnt inhale !!! a non story ........the real story is a stoned cameron smoked dope and listened to Supertramp lol lol lol ( thats class ) Look at the crap they are throwing at Corbyn.......................ie terrorist ( IRA / Palestinian sympathiser ) etc etc ones youthful high kinks the other is a serious counter threat to UK........as for the SNP Spectator....thats a non story, class based attack....carriess ome elemants of truth.....some MP's are on a higher screw than anything they could earn in real life and some will be living life high on the hog...thats human nature.. or are you telling me the 56 are all soberly tucked up in bed after a 20 hour commons slog....come on min !!

BetterTogether
28-Sep-15, 14:04
Aye all a hatchet job on the SNP but not a squeak out of the pair of you about Michelle Thomson I suppose that's all a smear by the right wing as well

squidge
28-Sep-15, 14:08
No - I'm not telling you that Rob but enjoying a salary and having a drink, even partying the night away isn't a hanging and flogging crime as long as you are doing your job. We frequently see SNP MPs in the House of Commons in greater numbers than the other parties, sitting through debates until late evening and back again in the morning as they should be. Not simply turning up to vote. Their work ethic has been complimented by a number of non SNP MPs too. This, like the Nicola backtracks thread is yet another load of fuss over nothing.

cptdodger
28-Sep-15, 14:14
Look at the crap they are throwing at Corbyn.......................ie terrorist ( IRA / Palestinian sympathiser )

And what if it's true? What if it's not just a press campaign to smear him?

This is a transcript of an interview he did -

http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/northern-ireland/jeremy-corbyn-the-artful-dodger-a-transcript-of-his-nolan-interview-31430884.html

BetterTogether
28-Sep-15, 14:19
Cptdodger the pair of them are so ideologically wedded to the left their leaders can do no wrong, despite Corbyns historic links and support for various terrorist groups it will now be swept under the carpet and labelled as some right wing smear of the beloved ideals. Common sense seems to fly out of the window for socialist dogma

BetterTogether
28-Sep-15, 14:29
Then again after all their complaining maybe they are becoming that which they claimed to despise. The corruption of money and power an age old story. Wouldn't be the first or last time.

cptdodger
28-Sep-15, 14:29
Cptdodger the pair of them are so ideologically wedded to the left their leaders can do no wrong, despite Corbyns historic links and support for various terrorist groups it will now be swept under the carpet and labelled as some right wing smear of the beloved ideals. Common sense seems to fly out of the window for socialist dogma

They can sweep it under the carpet as much as they like, the journalists didn't just pluck this out of thin air. Everything that man has done is on record -

Stephen Nolan quotes the Daily Telegraph in June. "This is a man who sympathised with violent Irish republicanism in the 80s, invited IRA representatives to the Commons a fortnight after the Brighton bombing in 1984 and at a Troops Out meeting in 1987 he stood for a moment's silence for eight IRA terrorists killed in an SAS ambush".


It makes my life a bit easier at the next General Election, because of this, I will vote Conservative.

BetterTogether
28-Sep-15, 14:35
You can see why more people are voting conservative instead of the way out ideals of the hard left. Hard left politics has never really done any country a lot of good it's all wonderful theories that don't transfer well in practice. I doubt many will have read let alone agreed with Marxs or Trostky but we still have those who think those tired old methods are relevant. Stick a label on something give it a fancy name and stop people having aspirations unless it's for the common good.

rob murray
28-Sep-15, 14:37
Aye all a hatchet job on the SNP but not a squeak out of the pair of you about Michelle Thomson I suppose that's all a smear by the right wing as well

Get real will you........................Michelle Thomson and all other SNP dodges....is not a right wing smear but the truth........as we all know. WHy dont you read my post above................

as for the SNP Spectator....thats a non story, class based attack....carries some elemants of truth.....some MP's are on a higher screw than anything they could earn in real life and some will be living life high on the hog...thats human nature.. or are you telling me the 56 are all soberly tucked up in bed after a 20 hour commons slog....come on min !!

Shabbychic
28-Sep-15, 15:43
You can see why more people are voting conservative instead of the way out ideals of the hard left. Hard left politics has never really done any country a lot of good it's all wonderful theories that don't transfer well in practice. I doubt many will have read let alone agreed with Marxs or Trostky but we still have those who think those tired old methods are relevant. Stick a label on something give it a fancy name and stop people having aspirations unless it's for the common good.

Really? That's funny, because I was just reading this article (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/david-cameron/10316950/Conservative-Party-membership-has-halved-since-David-Cameron-and-clique-came-to-power.html) in the Tory newspaper, The Telegraph, the other day.

BetterTogether
28-Sep-15, 15:48
Get real will you........................Michelle Thomson and all other SNP dodges....is not a right wing smear but the truth........as we all know. WHy dont you read my post above................as for the SNP Spectator....thats a non story, class based attack....carries some elemants of truth.....some MP's are on a higher screw than anything they could earn in real life and some will be living life high on the hog...thats human nature.. or are you telling me the 56 are all soberly tucked up in bed after a 20 hour commons slog....come on min !!You mean the 56 we haven't got a second job honest guv just here to do the good work for our consitutents crowd. They are no different to the rest main difference is the people who voted for them have been well and truly conned with all their we are different not the same there to make a difference blarney. Seems it's just the same old same old.

rob murray
28-Sep-15, 15:50
Really? That's funny, because I was just reading this article (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/david-cameron/10316950/Conservative-Party-membership-has-halved-since-David-Cameron-and-clique-came-to-power.html) in the Tory newspaper, The Telegraph, the other day.

Thanks....seems tory membership is falling ....a lot...still enough folk voted for them so that they gained a majority though, my conclusion ....party membership numbers dont really play a part...well certainly not with the tories who have long had a support that kept their alliances to themselves

BetterTogether
28-Sep-15, 15:51
Really? That's funny, because I was just reading this article (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/david-cameron/10316950/Conservative-Party-membership-has-halved-since-David-Cameron-and-clique-came-to-power.html) in the Tory newspaper, The Telegraph, the other day.Party membership may well of halved but they just won a General Election, labour where annihilated as where the lib Dems and so far the SNP have done nothing of any worth so that was a wasted vote eh !

rob murray
28-Sep-15, 15:51
You mean the 56 we haven't got a second job honest guv just here to do the good work for our consitutents crowd. They are no different to the rest main difference is the people who voted for them have been well and truly conned with all their we are different not the same there to make a difference blarney. Seems it's just the same old same old.

Aye meet the new boss...same as the ol boss...Wont Get Fooled Again ....The WHo ( WHose Next 1971 ) !!!