Monday, 8 September 2008

Just how much is Brown's away day costing us?

I'm in Birmingham to help my brother at a trade show. Last night we went to a rather fine Indian restaurant off Broad St and passed the ICC - the convention centre. There were rather a lot of Police outside.

Although I haven't seen it reported anywhere (mind you I haven't been looking that hard), I'm guessing that this must be the venue for today's 'historic first cabinet meeting outside London since Lloyd George'.

The ICC looked completely empty as we passed and I'm guessing that 'for security reasons' it had been closed for a while to allow every one of its many meeting rooms and halls to be security swept.

Which begs the question... just how much is this junket costing? I assume that, for security reasons, they don't want anyone else using the centre whilst the Cabinet is there. So we, the taxpayer, must have hired the whole thing. And then there is all the additional police work to manage 23 ministers at the cabinet meeting and all their visits in the West Mids today.

There is a reason that the cabinet meets in London all the time. It's because it is cheap and convenient and doesn't end up costing the people of the West Midlands millions.


Anonymous said...

Not all cabinet ministers require a security details for their visits.

Man in a Shed said...

Couldn't be more than the cost of Davis Davis' grandstanding by-election Gordon refused to take part in could it ? ;-)

Nick said...

The more interesting question is how much a year is spent on security prolonging Gordon Brown's life.

Then to make the comparison of that against the guidelines from NICE for the cost of a life.


Quentinthecrisp said...

That's the first thing that comes into my mind 'how much is this gimmick going to cost' when Brown says he's going to do something.
Ed Millibland was quoted as saying "This isn't a cheap gimmick"
For once,I agree with him, it was a very EXPENSIVE one.

James D said...

It's not just a matter of cost. It's that the cost didn't achieve anything. Birmingham is indeed key to getting policy focussed on the whole of England, not just one or two enclaves, but one cabinet meeting is just posturing. Perhaps a couple of departments -- say, the DfT and DCLG -- should be relocated permanently from Whitehall to Birmingham instead.

Anonymous said...

Fair comment, perhaps, but if GB and Nulabour want to try and avoid the accusation of being 'out of touch' and of being a London-centric government, how do you propose they achieve change without it costing money?

pajh said...

This post was featured in The Scotsman's `Blogosphere' section today.