Anorak News | Russian Revolution

Russian Revolution

by | 25th, February 2004

‘THOSE Russians don’t do things by halves. When they have a revolution in public services and institutions that don’t reshape the House of Lords, they take it outside and shoot it.

Smudger considers another offer not to speak

Not that there are any peers in Russia left to topple, or, indeed, much in the way of political action full stop since the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, sacked his entire government yesterday.

The Independent looked on as Putin, in a televised announcement to the country, said that although the Government had performed “satisfactorily”, its members had to go.

“In accordance with article 117 of the Russian Constitution, I have decided today that the Government is to resign,” said Mr Putin loftily.

But where does a former political heavyweight go when the leader makes them an offer they cannot refuse?

By way of a guide, the Independent has seen the register of MPs interests published yesterday.

The now former Russian prime minister Mikhail Kasyanov might like to contact the News of the World, an organ that paid William Hague £90,000-95,000 to supply them with articles for six months.

That’s not a shabby sum, and all the more encouraging for Kasyanov when he realises that Hague wasn’t even a prime minister.

In total, Hague pulled in a not inconsiderable half a million pounds last year. Around the same packet raked in by Robin Cook, the former Foreign Secretary, who earns a sizable royalty for each garden gnome sold.

Other politicians did not fair quite so well, and the Independent says that Peter Bottomley (Tory) declares just the use of a Powabike electric assisted bicycle as provided by the Worthing Herald.

Alan Duncan (Tory) received a watch, coffee pot and incense burner on a trip to Oman; Michael Howard (Tory) took a Saga Holiday cruise from Southampton to Casablanca; Patricia Hewitt (Labour) attended a premier of the Matrix Reloaded with her son and daughter; and Lembit Opik (LibDem) was at the Eurovison Song Contest in Estonia as a guest of the Tallinn City Council.

Russians might feel understandably flat about a trip to Estonia, but it’s a darn sight better than the booty hauled in by former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith.

Smudger does not disclose any specific earnings since his removal from the head of the Tory party last October.

He only mentions that his novel, The Devil’s Tune, earned him “income”, although not enough to merit registration. And when you consider that MPs, as the Times reminds us, must declare payments of more than £550, that “income” is not very much.

Although in Russia you can, we are told, start a revolution for less…’

Posted: 25th, February 2004 | In: Broadsheets Comment | TrackBack | Permalink