My initial reaction when I read earlier that the new speaker, John Bercow, has ordered £20,000 worth of alterations and refurbishments to his quarters was slight shock. Then I read that it was in order to make the accommodation more child friendly, and I thought it wasn't so bad. Then, however, reading the details I changed back to my initial reaction.
According to The Times he is spending money on making the place safe and having ducts checked to ensure his children will come to no harm, but I was shocked to read
"A further £3,880 has been spent on planters on the terrace to make it safer for the children.
The drawing room will get a new sofa and cushions for the window seat, costing £7,524.30.
Are these planters manufactured by Rolls Royce ? This is a ludicrous price and I could but planters from Homebase for considerably less.
But the real extravagance comes in his choice of sofas and cushions. To spend £7524.30 on a sofas and cushions shows a real ability to spend money without a care or concern for those paying for it.
Yes, I know it is less that Michael Martin spent, but then again Premiership footballers spend less on their mock mansions than Mr Martin spent, but I would have expected Mr Bercow to show a little more restraint.