Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Uppal where the air is clear

Lazy Paul's landed himself a job!

He's going to head the Parliamentary Urban Development Group, or as the industry lobbying website puts it (Uppal's kept this prestigious appointment rather quiet), 'the property group' - which makes it very clear that urban planning should only ever be about property development: god forbid we build parks and public space!

Well done Paul. It's really important for an MP to sit on Select Committees to scrutinise government.

What's that? It's not a Select Committee, just a cosy little club with no legislative standing but very useful for getting freebies, money and helping lobbyists? It's as serious as the All-Party Parliamentary Groups for Cheese, Historic Vehicles, Lighting, Headache Disorders, Mobile Homes, the Parliamentary Choir, Underground Space (intriguing) and my favourite, The Scotch Whisky and Spirits Group ('To promote and facilitate communication and understanding between representatives from the scotch whisky and spirits industry and MPs' - bet they have a great Christmas party)?

Say it ain't so, Paul, say it ain't so. Why would you involve yourself in a grubby little activity like this rather than try to get on to an actual proper committee that, y'know, does stuff?
The newly elected Conservative MP for Wolverhampton South West has worked in the property industry before 

Ah. I should have known. I'm gagging to read the new Register of Members' Interests in September.

In the meantime, I'm afraid I've become a nasty little telltale. Casting my eye over the Register of All-Party Groups (linked to above), updated on 30th July, I notice that Paul's little club isn't registered, let alone on the 'Approved' list. And that means no using Parliament's authority and prestige to sound important. I've dropped the Parliamentary Standards authority a note, just to keep Paul honest…

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