Wednesday, 16 September 2009

a land down under

while we are on the subject of Mr Salter, his recent Westminster Diary, which has just pinged into my inbox, is most illuminating on the subject of how he spent his summer. He went to Australia, he tells us, at his own expense, to see family and friends and meet some Australian politicans. How much time he spent with the politicians, or how much attention he was paying, is another matter however, as he managed to spell the name of the Australian Labor Party wrong. He informs us that he went to Australia at his own expense. When I went to Australia to see family and some politicians too, at my own expense, in 2001, I was criticised by this very Mr S for "junketing at the taxpayer's expense". Well, I did have dinner in Canberra with the then High Commissioner, former Tory MP Alistair Goodlad, and it was one of the dullest dinners I have ever been to, but I suppose the dinner did count as "taxpayer's expense" if you like. Oh and if you're planning a trip to Australia don't bother with Canberra. Mr Salter may well have visited former chair of Reading Labour Party Mike Price ("a weak man" - Mrs Salter), who was last heard of in Sydney, having fled the hounds of scandal who were snapping at his heels in Reading. Price it was who went to see the then General Secretary of the national Labour Party to say that Reading only wanted one Labour MP, not two. She sent him away. And told me about it. And I didn't tell the media. But that is not what the scandal was about. Oh no.


Anonymous said...

Oh go on.Do tell.You know your'e dying to!

Anonymous said...

..."he managed to spell the name of the Australian Labor Party wrong."

A pedant asks, shouldn't that be "wrongly", as it's an adverb?

Anonymous said...

oh, for the love of God get over it and move on. Really. Please.

David Akroyd said...

Mike Price, there's a blast from the past. Homosexual public school boy rumoured to have once had a liaison with Mr Salter. Whether that was true or not, certainly a key political ally.

As well as being a former Chair of Reading Labour Party, Mike also used to be Council Transport boss. Apparently at a Labour Group meeting once, Mr Price was embarassed by being forced to admit (during a clash with Tony Jones) that he travelled on a first class rail ticket while being a Socialist Transport Chief!

As for being a weak man, certainly true, but therein probably lay his usefulness.

jane said...

(1) No I'm not, because of the identity of at least one other party. Excellent though it would be to see the bespectacled loser trashed, he lost his job and ran away to Australia, which is probably good enough.

(2) Two grammatical schools of thought, one that "wrong" is OK used adverbially in informal language (in which this blog is indeed written for the most part) (Swan, 'Practical English Usage' 27.2) and another that "wrong" is in fact an adverb in some contexts, such as this one, see "fine" and "finely" (Fowler, 'Modern English Usage', p. 618). I hope this is helpful.

(3) Why? It's such fun! And the boys take it so seriously! See the strapline for this blog, a quote from Cllr Page from just a few weeks ago!

(4) Therein almost certainly did lie his usefulness - he used to ring me up on Sunday evenings half-pissed and tell me to resign as an MP. Not missed. One of the bullies, and not very good at it either.

Anonymous said...

I once worked for an IT company (before it went broke) that employed Mike Price a few years previously.
They had a very low opinion of him.

Anonymous said... Mr Powers still planning to retire therewhen his tenure as S.E.Organiser comes to end sometime nxt year?