I’m indebted to my insomniac mum for reminding me “The Jobseekers Guide to Parliament” was on Radio Four late on Sunday night. Happily – if you want to hear me discover which parliament is best for lounge lizards and slackers -- you can hear the programme (produced by my old pal Dave Batchelor) again at 20.45 on Weds Nov 21st.
The 15 minutes features Alan Cochrane from the Telegraph, suggesting Scotland offers the easiest life because List MSPs have no specific responsibilities or constituents while Quentin Letts of the Daily Mail nominates Westminster with its bonzer pensions, massive allowances and all party committees with fact-finding trips to Mediterranean islands. But I’m more impressed with BBC Wales Political Editor Vaughan Roderick, who reveals the incredible second home allowance system operating in Cariff where AMs or assembly members can claim allowances for two homes just 15 minutes apart! The members also have 37 pubs just outside the parliament building as well as the chance of appearing in Dr Who. But the whole cynical conceit of the programme founders when I’m confronted with the boyish enthusiasm of Guardian columnist Malachi O’Doherty, describing the wide-eyed wonderment of witnessing the “Chuckle Brothers” Paisley and McGuinness burying the hatchet after years trying to bury one another – politically speaking of course. For sheer spectacle that does take some beating.
It was great fun making the programme – though Dave and I have enough material for a six part series. Hey ho.