Press gallery reporters, who never look happier than when they are perk busting, have managed to find out seven retiring MPs have overseas travel this year.
It is a bad look. There are reasons you want to attend events such as IPU or CPU meetings, and it could well be the case that MPs restanding don’t want to be out of town in election year. But someone should have realised the perception problem would be significant. It is hardly a new thing, that the media scrutinise such travel closely.
The Speaker ultimately was in the best place to see the composition of the trips, and should have suggested to parties they rethink their choices. But to be fair to Margaret Wilson I understand she doesn’t particularly enjoy these trips herself and is probably pretty peeved she has to deal with it. I hear rumours that she may announce later today that the Speaker’s tour trip will be cancelled.
As someone who has worked in Government, I also have a small degree of professional sympathy for the Government whose big Fast Forward research funding announcement was pushed to second segment status on all the news shows, with the overseas travel perks as the lead items. Sometimes crap just happens to the best laid plans.Tags: Margaret Wilson, overseas travel, perks