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In Sealand today

Posted on February 03, 2014 by

From this morning’s Independent:

‘Poll tax mark II’ pushes Britain’s poorest into debt

Up to 70,000 low earners, single parents, and disabled people are being pursued by bailiffs over their failure to pay the ‘new poll tax’, according to figures revealed for the first time.

Also from this morning’s Independent:

House of Lords is no longer a place for fine dining, peers gripe 

Members of the House of Lords have lodged a series of extravagant complaints about their taxpayer-subsidised restaurants, expressing their anger about the size of menus, ‘chaotic’ table layouts and ‘inferior cappuccinos’.

Peers can enjoy seared scallops, foie gras and champagne risotto at the Barry Room private restaurant, part of a group of facilities catering to them and their guests which are subsidised by the taxpayer at a cost of £1.3m a year. A full roast dinner costs £9.50. Peers also receive a £300-a-day expenses allowance for attending the House of Lords.

But this has not stopped a steady stream of complaints being sent to Lord John Sewel, the Chairman of Committees. One impassioned Lord complained of a 15-minute wait to be seated, which they said lost ‘some of the finesse of the afternoon’ and left their guests unable to ‘eat the beautiful cake selection’ in time. Another member decried the ‘chaotic litter of small tables’ in the Lords’ tea room after its rearrangement over Easter.

Another said he had been left ‘scarred’ after his dinner booking was cancelled suddenly. He complained that his wife was ‘unable to lunch elsewhere’ because she was wearing a tiara.”


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84 to “In Sealand today”

  1. Macart says:

    OFFS, its a different dimension, never mind a different world for them.

    I’m going off to kick something repeatedly for the next five minutes.

  2. MajorBloodnok says:

    “Another said he had been left ‘scarred’ after his dinner booking was cancelled suddenly. He complained that his wife was ‘unable to lunch elsewhere’ because she was wearing a tiara.”

    God, I hate that when that happens.

  3. cearc says:

    I saw those last night. Strange (or not) that the Scottish press don’t tell us how the SG protected us from that cut to council tax rebates.

    On the second one, are tiaras not removable?

  4. Gillie says:

    Isn’t there a tax on tiaras?

  5. Nkosi says:

    I have two words for the greedy barstewards, one beginning with F the other is off

  6. Look Skye Walker says:

    900 Lords a leaping and 650 ("Tractor" - Ed)s a creeping, right out the door in September! Vote YES!

  7. Gillie says:

    I wonder how much you would get from the local pawnbroker for a tiara?

  8. Jimsie says:

    Sure I saw a lady in McDonalds the other day wearing a tiara.

  9. Heather McLean says:

    Brings to mind Marie Antionette and “Let them eat Cake”

    We have a chance to get rid of this overpriveleged disgusting bunch peacefully without resorting to a bloody revolution come 18th September, all we have to do is put a cross in the YES box!

  10. Peter Macbeastie says:

    Someone once told me that when people were young they tended to be left wing but as they got older and wealthier they became right wing because that’s who would do more to protect your money.

    Well, I’m a bit older, and a bit better off than when I was younger, and if anything I’m going the opposite direction. The older I get, the more I pay attention, and the more I realise that I hate the kind of people running this country as a personal gravy train and making the poorest suffer so the top end needn’t pay more tax.

    They are scum. There is no other way to see it.

    Couple that with the Scottish Government’s attempts to find a way around the Bedroom Tax and actually prevent the worst problems caused by it. As rightly pointed out, we have neither the right to issue welfare payments and are actually restricted in how much we can contribute to mitigate the cuts. So we are left in the ridiculous position of having to ask Westminster to use part of our own budget so we can help our own people. This is surely meant to be a joke. Not only do they control how much money the Scottish Government gets; they also tell the Scottish Government how they’re allowed to spend it. You couldn’t make it up.

    I know there is no one around here likely to disagree with this; Scotland needs independence, and needs it now. A yes in September is beyond important.

  11. heedtracker says:

    No wonder idiots like Lord Foulkes are on their way out. Would England really tolerate this chronically undemocratic privilege at the public expense, after Scottish independence?

  12. Jimsie says:

    @Peter McBeastie. Dead right, I am an old enough to see anarchism as being moderate.

  13. Mealer says:


    Tiaras may well be removable but you completely miss the point.While we waste time debating the “wee” things,our betters are having to suffer intolerable privations in the tea room.

  14. proudscot says:

    Not only are these “complaints” incredible in themselves, especially the one concerning the tiara, it is more incredible that there are self-proclaimed “proud Scots” who oppose independence, who actually admire and approve of these chinless, unelected parasites.

    The recent example of the insolent, spoiled little prigs who infested the Strathallan-hosted “Big Debate” fiasco, suggests we have yet another load of elitist Westminster worshipping bum lickers in the making as we speak.

    I sincerely hope our independent Scottish Govenment will re-examine and eliminate the concept of these private schools being awarded “charitable” status, in order to perpetuate this type of privilege and snobbery.

  15. Geoff Huijer says:

    I still can’t fathom why people would even
    consider voting No – this reinforces that opinion.

    A once in a ‘lifetime’ opportunity to rid ourselves
    of this unbalanced system and one that about 99% of
    the people in the early 1700s would have given anything

    We just have to tick YES…

  16. Taranaich says:

    You’ve heard of First World Problems, well, here’s Cloud Cuckoo World Problems!

    “Want to have high tea with Lords – CANNOT SIT AT TINY TABLES”

    “Planned on eating seared scallops – WEARING A TIARA”

    For pity’s sake people, let’s get this meme started!

    @Heather McLean: Brings to mind Marie Antionette and “Let them eat Cake”

    But can’t you see they tried? After being FORCED to wait 15 MINUTES, they were ROBBED of the chance to enjoy the BEAUTIFUL SELECTION OF CAKES

  17. Hetty says:

    Thing is, do people even know that this is happening in England while the Scottish government made the decision not to impose this draconian measure onto the poorest in our society North of the border?

    I hope the lot of those idiotic, greedy, selfish so called lords choke on their foie gras, which is extracted by the use of an incredibly cruel and barbaric process, it is basically torture. These people really are a disgrace in a supposed civilised society in 2014.

  18. Luigi says:

    Peers can enjoy seared scallops,…

    Paralytic shellfish poisoning comes to mind.

    If only!

  19. halftracknat says:

    but will there still be tiaras in an independent Scotland? Alex Salmond must answer.

  20. Ian Brotherhood says:

    ‘He complained that his wife was ‘unable to lunch elsewhere’ because she was wearing a tiara.’

    He forgot to mention that she wasn’t wearing anything else.

  21. Jimmuckmc says:

    One of the greatest dividends of independence is the thought that we will be rid of these well fed parasites . The fact that labour people sell their principles for a title has always puzzled me

  22. Findlay Farquaharson says:

    labour party in favour of house of lords and will accept peerages. surely a contradiction?

  23. velofello says:

    As someone stated in another article – ridding Scotland of the House of Lords is reason enough to vote Yes in the Referendum.

    I see that Lord Steele, musician and and singer extraordinaire presumably, is critical of Eddie Reader’s interpretation of Burns – simple in his view – songs.As a musician and singer of very modest talent I enjoy her interpretations, especially My Love is like a Red Red Rose. So much better than some baritone belting it out in the fashion of the England rugby team’s rendering of God Save the Queen.

  24. heedtracker says:

    On the 18th September, I’m going to wear a tiara at the ballot box. Why not, it would be quite fetching on a balding 6’2″ hairy arsed jock.

  25. Illy says:

    the Scottish Government’s attempts to find a way around the Bedroom Tax and actually prevent the worst problems caused by it. As rightly pointed out, we have neither the right to issue welfare payments and are actually restricted in how much we can contribute to mitigate the cuts.

    It’s worse than that, Westminster seem to prefer people homeless and destitute, than Holyrood having a wee bit more power.

    That says it all, really.

  26. G H Graham says:

    My wife & I were once insulted by a fast food restaurant server who refused to clean off a grubby, sauce stained table because she was wearing an orange cagoule.

    So I understand exactly what the good Lord & his tiara adorned wife are talking about.

  27. Jimbo says:

    Another said he had been left ‘scarred’ after his dinner booking was cancelled suddenly. He complained that his wife was ‘unable to lunch elsewhere’ because she was wearing a tiara.”

    Yes, I can understand that. An utter disgrace. I mean, where else could they go – Where else could she wear a tiara to a taxpayer-subsidised lunch?

    Talk about different priorities – These people have a say on what direction our society takes FFS.

  28. Janine says:

    I constantly get knocked back from China Buffet King and Kentucky Fried Chicken for wearing my tiara – this is an issue that needs to be addressed.

    I’m just so disappointed that it takes a rich Lord for this blight on society to be recognised – it’s a major problem for tiara-wearers all over the country!

  29. Findlay Farquaharson says:

    couldnt she have removed the tiara? was much more difficult for lord foulkes, he turned up in his speedos.

  30. Murray McCallum says:

    There is something incredibly tacky about wearing a tiara to lunch.

    All show no substance.

  31. desimond says:

    I know i stayed up to watch the Superbowl but have I really slept right through until April 1st?

    You can actually picture Mr Foulkes ( Im sorry but the house of lords is getting no respect of title from me) pondering which cake and then then saying “To hell with it, leave the tray” and sticking any remaining treats in his pocket before he leaves.

    What next, a House of Lord Food Bank, sponsored by Fortnum & Masons.

  32. Mary Bruce says:

    This is the problem with tiaras, it happens to me all the time. One can only wear it in respectable establishments where others share the same values as oneself, such as the house of lords. It is dangerous to wear one’s tiara out in public where the plebs might see it, one just wouldn’t dare. Thank goodness the house of lords is free of such judgement.

  33. Dramfineday says:

    Findlay – for the love of god have mercy – arrrgh! What a thing to put into my brain you cyber(caber) nat you.

  34. Illy says:

    Can I just check something, do they actually pay anything for their meals there, or are they free if you can get in the door?

  35. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    They pay, but at heavily subsidised (by us) rates. It says so in the Independent piece.

  36. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Someone once told me that when people were young they tended to be left wing but as they got older and wealthier they became right wing because that’s who would do more to protect your money.

    Well, I’m a bit older, and a bit better off than when I was younger, and if anything I’m going the opposite direction. The older I get, the more I pay attention, and the more I realise that I hate the kind of people running this country as a personal gravy train and making the poorest suffer so the top end needn’t pay more tax.

    They are scum. There is no other way to see it.”


  37. Jamie Arriere says:

    Of course he was “scarred” after his booking was cancelled because wifey lamped him with the said tiara. The ambulance also would have had to deal with the restaurant staff who were in stitches.

    How insensitive we all can be. 🙂

  38. Mary Bruce says:

    Everyone should have a tiara:

    Just print it out, decorate it with shiny things and glitter, then cut it out. Ta-da! You have your very own tiara.

    I’m going to stick my cybernat badge on mine.

  39. CameronB says:

    Well if a Traditional Afternoon Tea cost me £17 per person, I certainly expect to wear my tiara.

    SERVED FROM 3.30PM – 5.00PM

    Price List covering Lords’ Bar, Home Room, Bishops’ Bar

    House of Lords – Own Label Wine: Sauvignon 75cl 50 000 GBP, Chardonnay 75cl 40 500 GBP, Claret 75cl 34300 GBP & Pinot Noir 75cl 46 000 GBP. Champagne: NV 75cl 46 800 GBP, NV half 2 600 GBP, Rose 75cl 11300 GBP, Vintage 65cl 6 800 GBP. All values are approximate based on purchasing information for 2011.
    (I’m not sure if these figures reflect purchase cost or sales revenue)

  40. Robert Roddick says:

    If this was staged as a play, people would be saying it’s too far fetched. I’ve just checked the calendar. It is unbelievably 2014. On a brighter note, this pantomime could change soon.

  41. Ian Brotherhood says:

    ‘Peers can enjoy seared scallops.’

    Yes, they’re funny that way, a lot of them. They’d probably like toad-in-the-hole into the bargain.

  42. Archie [not Erchie] says:

    The link below dated 2010 shows HOL actual catering subsidy figures for years 2007/08 to 2009/10. There is also a projection for years 2010/11 to 2012/13.

    From a high of nearly £2 million pounds actual in year 2007/8 it reduced gradually and was projected to be just above £1 million in year 2012/13

    A tender was put out late last year for catering services to both Houses however I cannot find who was the successful bidder.

  43. Stuart Black says:

    @Peter McBeastie.

    Great post mate, I agree with every word.

  44. Oneironaut says:

    I’m really glad I read this article. It’s helped me to realise how selfish I’ve been, wondering where I’m going to get the money to keep paying the bills, using faulty appliances ‘cos I can’t afford new ones, wrecking my health on cheap junk food…

    When all along there were people whose suffering was far more than me.
    People who had to wait 15 WHOLE MINUTES to be seated, thus ruining the finesse of their evening?! Disgraceful!
    Having your dinner booking cancelled suddenly? I really don’t know how the poor dear managed to survive such a catastrophe, and his wife’s tiara-wearing habits restricting their ability to go elsewhere, in a modern society like ours?! What is the world coming to???

    Well, I’ve certainly learned my lesson today to be thankful for what I have!

    (If you think this is sarcasm, you should see what was in my head before I took the time to calm myself down before typing this!)

  45. kalmar says:

    Animal Farm innit.

  46. G H Graham says:

    In addition to the daily allowance of 300 quid & subsidised meals, they can claim travel & accommodation costs to/from the HOL. So what you might ask? Companies comp their employees for these expenses all the time, right? But they are usually limited to the employee. No so in Westminster.

    Did you know that Lords can claim Business Class air fares & costs of up to 6 return journeys per year (15 for ministers) for their wives/partners as well as their children?

    And the standard mileage rates are as follows ..

    • car – 45p per mile up to 10,000 miles in the year ending 31 March, and
    • 25p per mile for mileage in excess of 10,000 miles in the same year;
    • motorcycle – 24p per mile;
    • bicycle – 20p per mile.

    Yep. A journey by bicycle can be claimed as a cost !

    Guidelines here at:

  47. ronnie anderson says:

    Ma mind boggle,s, at these story,s.

    TattieBoggle, whit ur you dain in ma heid.

  48. Ian Brotherhood says:

    Not great quality, but an interesting proposal:

  49. Kev says:

    From the “world’s oldest democracy” to an Islamic nation in North Africa who after decades of dictatorship and 2 years of violent revolution, has produced a constitution guaranteeing; equality for men and women, environmental protection,healthcare as a universal right, freedom to practice any religion,the right for workers to strike and to form trade unions, and a right to protection from torture..

    Wow Tunisia has done in 2 years what the twats in the Lords couldn’t achieve in nearly 700 years:

    (apologies if this has been posted before)

  50. Flower of Scotland says:

    40 years ago I thought David Steel was maybe , maybe one of the good guys or at least had Scotland’s interest at heart but after seeing his tirade against the lovely Eddie Reader I realise he’s only interested now in HIMSELF ! That House of Lords bubble costs us a lot of money . So I’m angry , very angry indeed ! How dare he , he represents no one now . He’s in a place where Failed politicians are put out to pasture !

  51. yerkitbreeks says:

    I’m sure this is a pinnacle one should inspire to ( the HoL dining ). There’s only one way, get a safe Commons seat. When I lived in Kent the MPs were Mayhew, Stanley, Johnston-Smith etc, all only Sirs of course but with a guaranteed ” elevation ” in due course. The issue is the electorate – in the case of the above True Blue uncritical south of England Tories. The corollary is the W of Scotland labour MP who also used to get in regardless of talent since they also had their unthinking supporters.

    Thank goodness this Referendum is clearly politicising a huge section of the Scottish electorate and perhaps in turn making it ( them ) see through the verbal and MSM baloney.

  52. yerkitbreeks says:

    @ Flower of Scotland. When I moved to the Borders some years ago I was made aware of the local opinion that self interest was a strong driver for the above mentioned Lord, and like you, taken aback.

  53. boglestone says:

    Its perverse in the extreme that these leeches are entitled to tax payer’s money. What is the actual point of that place? Its a sick joke. If the House of Lords disappeared overnight would the country be better or worse off?

  54. Albert Herring says:

    I wore my tiara along with my wife in matching vajazzle to Prezzo Braehead and we only had to wait 10 minutes.

  55. Big Al says:

    Can we all agree then, that should we have the misfortune to be in the company of these bloated aristos that we never address them by their title?

    I also assume that the compulsory dress code for the August march is now a tiara adorned with a cybernat badge, a yes badge and the special WoS badge?

  56. desimond says:

    Embedding YouTibe…hwo do you do it?

    I tried copying in standard and “use old” embed text from Youtube page for recent Blair MacDougall Downfall but it didnt work…. can anyone help please, I’ve see a few of us struggling with this.

  57. desimond says:

    Ah…so if youre embedding video code from YOUTUBE…I recommend you select the ‘Use old embed code’ option found under Embed links.
    Lokks like this:

    Show suggested videos when the video finishes
    Enable privacy-enhanced mode
    Use old embed code

    Tick the last option and then copy large code duly provided by YouTube in the text box.

  58. Seasick Dave says:

    I wonder what Lord McAvoy’s views on tiaras is?

  59. desimond says:

    @Seasick Dave

    Used to be a great wee story in Rutherglen about the McAvoy dynasty…One brother a Labour Whip, the other the local Council Leader. When the Town Hall refurb was being done, a bust was commissioned of one the brothers in reward for their “civic service”. The other brother complained and the council commissioned a bust of him too.

    A Long way from the Hoover factory Cambuslang indeed.

  60. Seasick Dave says:


    Good vid!

  61. Seasick Dave says:


    I’ll mark Tommy down as a supporter of tiaras then.

  62. Dick Gaughan says:

    Some things are beyond caricature.

    I see no guillotines …

  63. Tattie-bogle says:

    See that means tested pish someone needs shot for that. my folks worked all their days brought up 3 children .my father never had a day off dragged himself to work if he was ill.His pension was shite it took him 40 pence over the means thresh hold so my folks paid for everything no extra help. shocking

  64. Tattie-bogle says:

    tiaras indeed at 9.50m in

  65. Tattie-bogle says:

    @ Desimond
    i was married to a cousin of baron macavoy of ruglen and as a wedding gift we got 2 house of parliament shot glasses probably knocked off we had a weekend in London after the wedding and he never even offered his London hide away flat as a place to stay so we stayed at Sloan sq it was no big deal but the offer would have been nice (jumped up hoover inspector to lord a greasy pole climber when ever i have seen one)

  66. Tattie-bogle says:
  67. memaw says:

    Fantastic video.

    Having read the comments and agree with them all can I now put a complete dampner on the fun? Page 548 of Scotland’s Future:

    “the Westminster system includes the House of Lords,whose members are not elected by, or representative of, the people. Members of the House of Lords hold significant power over the people of Scotland. A SINGLE MEMBER OF THE HOUSE OF LORDS HAS MORE SAY OVER THE WELFARE SYSTEM IN SCOTLAND,FOR EXAMPLE,THAN THE WHOLE OF THE SCOTTISH PARLIAMENT.”

    Absolutely terrifying, why have we put up with it for so long?

  68. Betsy says:

    So when’s the revolution starting?

  69. Alba4Eva says:

    Yup, these Lords take the piss. Salmond on the other hand has to account and provide receipts for every tea bag… else there will be hell to pay.

  70. SquareHaggis says:

    Send him hame tae think again, cough…

    Well played Rev!

  71. Betty Boop says:

    @ Peter Macbeastie 12.57pm
    @proudscot 1.05pm

    Shortly entering my seventh decade on this earth, I find myself in the position that I could reasonably be called “an activist”.

    The referendum is the single most important vote since Scotland was cast into union 307 years ago. I have waited many decades for Scotland to have this opportunity to regain its independence which I always regarded as desirable. In recent years, I have come to the conclusion that it is absolutely imperative that Scotland takes full control of its own affairs. To live under the archaic, class-ridden den of self-serving, conceited, disingenuous specimens which inhabit Westminster is no longer tenable. Their attitude to the welfare of the general population of this country is despicable.

    I listened online to the entire “debate” from Strathallan School and could barely believe the attitude of these pupils who displayed so much insolence, aggression and, worse, superiority. Their mobbing instinct was quite unedifying. “Land reform!”; one young woman opined that was a bad idea because “private” land was better looked after! No thought that a lot of it might be put to more productive/civic use than shooting for fun. Guess she really gets the point. These are the people who will be networked into government jobs, law, banks, etc. Heaven help us! I have never held a strong opinion about private schools, but, having heard those baying youngsters, I now think it might be a good idea to ban them if they are simply there to produce “class” hooligans instead of people with the ability to listen, consider and research evidence before spouting opinion on serious matters. If nothing else, remove the charity status and get the full benefit of corporation tax from them. I thought Pete Wishart was incredibly tolerant under the onslaught from uninformed, privileged kids given a platform by the BBC. Debate it was not.

    H of Lords, private schools; totally out of touch, living in the past. None of us should put up with people who think we should “touch the forelock” and pay for their profligacy. Save the money and spend it where there is a need. All sorts of options if we control our own affairs.

  72. theycan'tbeserious says:

    Tiaras went out of fashion in France, during the revolution!

  73. Ian Brotherhood says:

    @Betty Boop –

    Amen to all that. Spot-on.

  74. Camilla Kaczinski says:

    One member complained that the arrival of the new [coffee] machine was “insulting” and “staggering”, because peers hadn’t been consulted about the change. In his letter to Lord Sewel, the Lord added: “Even by parliamentary standards, that’s an impressive manoeuvre. You could not have calculated a move more likely to spread ill will.”

    This is somewhat hilarious considering the House of Lords’ last minute changes to the Energy Bill last year, which removed the Scottish parliament’s powers in respect of renewables obligation in Scotland and brought them back under the control of Westminster. With no prior consulation at all.

    That said, I once wore a tiara to work and had no problems at all getting a seat in the lunch room. Said tiara was mainly made of acrylic, but it was very pretty.

  75. Calgacus MacAndrews says:

    If Scotland votes YES Darling can kiss his tiara goodbye.
    No wonder he looks like he’s losing the plot.

  76. velofello says:

    Well said Betty Boop, but one wee correction. These Lords are not living in the past, they are knowingly living off us now and with absolutely conscience about doing so. The Establishment mindset is of entitlement.

    Many many years back I watched a play on TV where the girl, cooking, asked her boyfriend “How many sausages do you want? I don’t care as long as its more than my share”.

  77. Alastair Naughton says:

    Marie Antoinette eat your heart out (or your cake – if you don’t have your head cut off before you finally get served, that is!)

  78. Betty Boop says: “Shortly entering my seventh decade on this earth…”

    You mean you’re still in your fifties, Betty?


  79. Betty Boop says:

    @ Christian Wright 10.18pm

    “Betty Boop says: “Shortly entering my seventh decade on this earth…” ”

    I wish I was a “whippersnapper” – you might note I said “entering my seventh”. That means I have waded my way through six decades! 🙁

  80. Morag says:

    You know, I kind of wish you hadn’t put it that way….

  81. Macandroid says:

    All this talk of HoL food made me wonder what the puddings were like…

    and then I remembered I could just go online and watch a live debate!

  82. Muscleguy says:

    @GH Graham
    I can see the justification for 20p per mile for cycle journeys. There’s the wear and tear from all the potholes that has to be taken into account.

    Much better to pay peers to cycle than to fix the potholes, don’t you think?

  83. Macandroid says:

    @Dick and Betsy and a lot more I suspect…

    The Scottish Maiden, perhaps we can borrow the one at the National Museum 🙂

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