« Bishop Bashes Pope on Climate Change | Main | Top Boffin At Work And Play »

Scottish Politician rinses out tea bags to save on expenses

As Westminster politicians struggle to explain their expenses, Ms MacDonald totted up her quarterly claim for attending the Scottish Parliament and found that she had spent only £32 — making her the lowest claimant of the 129 MSPs at Holyrood.

Ms MacDonald, who served as the Nationalist MP for Glasgow Govan from 1973-74 and represents the Lothians in the Scottish Parliament, billed for only the costs involved in sending her press releases. Ms MacDonald, who has Parkinson’s disease and difficulty walking, also turned down an official car and a driver. Because she sometimes uses a taxi, her expenses bill for the full year has almost reached a heady £2,000.

Ms MacDonald says that she will not tell others how they should run their affairs, although she did offer five top tips for saving money. Politicians could follow her example by making their own office curtains, shopping at supermarkets after 5pm when food is often reduced, and using garden furniture in offices. They could further cut costs by reading newspapers online, rinsing out teabags, and buying the fabric for curtains in the sales.

Now that is more like how we expect our prudent Scottish politicians act, there are some tartan troughers in Westminster who could take some lessons.


When I was 15 or 16 my Uncle, who had been on night shift, gave me his voting card as he came in at breakfast, and told me to go down the road and vote for Margo. I looked 21 in those days - sadly, now I look 91.

Why? I asked. Because she's a nice bit of stuff, replied my Aunt. Politics as a beauty contest.

A couple of decades later, I sat next to Margo and her husband Jim, in a cafe. I didn't have the nerve to confess to electoral fraud, but knowing what I now know about West of Scotland politics, I guess they would have replied that my little crime cancelled out only one of thousands habitually committed by the Labour Party.

Post a comment