We are such generous creatures, we tax-payers.
Struggling with our mountain of debt, staring bankruptcy in the face, we dug deep into our pockets and stumped up £60,000 to send five MPs and two Peers on an essential fact finding mission to that well known hunting ground for excellent parliamentarian housekeepers, Tonga, in the South Seas.
The five MPs, Andrew Rosindell (Romford) Meg Munn (Sheffield Heeley), Jim Sheridan (Paisley and Renfrewshire North), Betty Williams (Conwy), Neil Turner (Wigan) and Colin Challen, (Morley and Rothwell) all from the inclement north of our merry Isle, were accompanied by two Peers, the Lords Roper of Thorney Island and Lea of Crondall just in case documents needed careful checking, and two members of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association – perchance something should need photocopying.
Whilst there, they professed an interest in the climate, as well they might, coming from the likes of Wigan and Conwy.
On their first night, the troughing restaurant bill was in excess of £1,000 pounds, paid for by the Tongan people. The average wage in Tonga is £1,490 per annum.
The trip will be featured in Dispatches: MPs, Planes and Gravy Trains on Channel 4 on Monday 28 at 8pm.
No Tongan housekeepers were harmed in the making of this documentary.