Sure, there’s lots of other news today. But there is a certain elegance to this story — a tale of privilege, a sense of entitlement, and most of all, a waste of the taxpayer’s money that I just couldn’t resist.
They will be toilets fit for nobility.
Officials at Britain’s Parliament plan to spend about 100,000 pounds ($152,000) to refurbish two toilets used by members of the House of Lords.
A tender notice posted on a government website says the run-down lavatories present a “poor image” of the building and do not comply with disability access legislation.
The notice values the contract to refurbish them at between 90,000 pounds and 100,000 pounds.
The Parliament buildings are an historic landmark, and all work has to meet English Heritage requirements, which can be costly.
Matthew Sinclair of lobby group the Taxpayers’ Alliance said Sunday it was “an eye-watering sum of taxpayers’ money to fork out on allowing House of Lords’ VIPs to spend a penny” — slang for going to the bathroom.
The amount is irrelevant, except for shock value. Two bathrooms remodeled for $150,000? No doubt the toilets will have the finest finishings and a nice, comfortable seat. But who really cares how the darn things look? Whatever happened to functionality, utility, modesty? Some may argue that in the overall scheme of things, 150 grand is a pittance. It’s that kind of attitude that gives politicians a proprietary interest in our tax dollars, rather than recognizing that the people’s purse is to be treated with respect and care.
Privilege and a sense of entitlement by the people’s servants happened, that’s what. No doubt parliament believes they deserve the best, so why not splurge a bit and instead of a plain-jane bathroom, let’s doll it up with all sorts of bells and whistles.
It seems the politicians here and in Europe no longer care very much how their spending might appear to voters.