Monday, June 12, 2006


Well England's bid to bring back the FA cup has started in earnest and Labour MP Alan Whitehead is in on the act...
Despite my best efforts to get The Daily Echo interested and the fact that it was front page news on the Mail on Sunday a fortnight yesterday, the local rag only managed to devote a couple of paragraphs to the fact Alan and his mates are off on a serious freebie!
As goalie for the Parliamentary Football club, Whitehead is one of 23 lucky individuals who have been given free tickets and will enjoy lavish corporate sponsorship during the world cup.
As Kevin Miles, international co-ordinator for the Football Supporters' Federation claimed McDonald's had handed over the tickets to curry favor with the MPs, and criticize the politicians for asking for them, there seems to also be considerable resentment locally.
Mr Miles has spoken of the "chronic" problem in which Fifa distributed 40% of World Cup tickets to sponsors, hospitality packages and non-competing football associations.
"They've got the tickets because they're MPs, but the biggest crime is that McDonald's is in the position to give them out," he said.
"They're doing it to buy themselves influence, let's make no mistake about it.
I would like to know the answers to a few questions myself;

  • Who is paying for the flights and hotels?
  • Will Mr Whitehead miss any important debates or votes in the chamber of the House or in select committees on which he serves while he is away?
  • How many engagements in his constituency as well as surgeries has he had to cancel while away?
  • How does he see his relationship with the World Cups corporate sponsors will affect his impartiality and independence as an MP?

For a link to the original story go to


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