Chardonnay? I hardly know her!

Maisie Barker

23 year old student dividing her time between Manchester and London. Studied English and Creative Writing, hoping to pay the rent with it one day.Likes horror films, reading and spending my student loan on clothes. Dislikes spiders and people with topknots.

Another day, another story of wealth and privilege. Am I never going to be free of spewing my contempt for the not-so-common-man all over the internet? At least not for today.

In a display of astonishing entitlement, a call for peers and MPs to share a catering service (which would save taxpayers money) has been rejected. Because it would mean some people switching to a lower quality of champagne.

The news was revealed at a committee examining how Westminster should be run and was met by laughter and ridicule even by members of the committee. And that’s saying something.

Many school children going without lunch

According to The Guardian, the House of Lords has a £1.3 million annual catering budget. Meanwhile school dinners are often providing inadequately nutritional meals for their students and many students are having to go without lunch. The cost of living has gone up whilst wages remain stagnant, forcing record numbers to seek the services of food banks. I doubt they’re getting champagne in their charity hampers.

17,000 bottles

The House of Lords has apparently bought more than 17,000 bottles of champagne since the coalition, which equals out to five bottles per peer, per year. Unless you’re Patsy Stone or a Formula 1 driver, there’s really no need for that much.

Parliament continues to be a macabre charade of itself. Like the French aristocracy before the Revolution, they watch common people struggle to make a loaf of bread stretch and they feast on the highest quality food and drink. People have tightened their belts even more this Christmas whilst they flaunt their entitlement in our faces. So when’s the guillotine going up?

We can only hope that this is just more evidence that Westminster needs cleaning out. Expenses scandals, ‘Plebgate’ and the growing number of child abuse scandals have so far failed to make any headway in renovation but we can only hope that the committee sees sense.

Deranged Roman emperors

The Peers do not represent the common people. They represent an outdated sector of Britain’s history – those who inherited their wealth and lands from their ancestors or those who are awarded titles and the privileges that go along with that. They are deranged Roman emperors, gorging on the finest food before vomiting it up so as to move on to the next course. They are Louis XV, weakening the treasury whilst expecting the serfs to survive. They are Hugh Laurie in Blackadder The Third.

We need a radical overhaul of how we keep our government. If we must survive on the bare minimum – the bare minimum set by this government – then so must they. If we must watch every penny then so should they. If we should switch to drinking Sainsbury’s Own Brand, then they should certainly stop with the Moet & Chandon.

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