M.P.'s for Ex-Pats? Discussion on the Today Programme

France is considering new M.P's for its ex-pats and I am wondering what the SFN community thinks of this idea for British ex-pats?

The Today programme held an interview this morning between Brian Cave, a British ex-pat living in France and the Labour peer, Lord Lipsey.

I was appalled to listen to how badly prepared Lord Lipsey was before he came to this discussion.

He stated categorically that Mr. Cave should not have an ex-pat M.P because he did not pay tax in the UK.

Mr Cave was a teacher and has a civil service pension which is automatically taxed in the UK, as is all income from the rental of properties in UK owned by ex-pats.

He also stated that because ex-pats do not pay VAT, we should not have an ex-pat MP.

Our SIPP is governed by the rules imposed by the UK Government and when we order goods on-line from UK, we all pay VAT.

Another reason Lord Lipsey stated was that the UK is trying to reduce the amount of M.P.'s and this proposal would increase their number.

Should we be better represented in the country of our nationality? After all ex-pats have particular concerns and I think that this would be an excellent idea and as Lord Lipsey ably demonstrated, it seems that we are not being taken seriously be our ruling classes.

You can contact Lord Lipsey via "Write to them" on the net.

OH yes, his wawdswip seems to have done immense favours at least...

I certainly don't disagree with you Brian but at the moment this seems like the only runner even if it is a rank outsider! Maybe like Ulster used to be "Vote Early" and "Vote Often". I think it was called "personisation" if such a word really exists! M'lud of the Bec seems to have actually helped our campaign if anything!

Good David, but I would still rather vote in France where I live.

See also my comments on the Telegraph blog! :)

I encourage other supporters to add their own comments!

Fame at last for SFN Member Brian Cave!

Oh no, not Plough Lane too! I actually played on that ground in local primary school finals that we reached several times (won a couple) and before rugby took my heart (and nose)!

Enjoyed all that -thanks! I knew quite abit about Merton Abbey and the mills. A friend of mine from architectural college did all the recent work down there. It's actually quite a bit better than it was albeit many of the supermarkets, flats etc could again be absolutely anywhere. The old Plough Lane stadium site was redeveloped as one of the crassest overdevelopments in London. My sons are still avid AFC fans! Fond memories of Vinnie Jones and Fashanu!

I was born at the Nelson Hospital just opposite, my school was just up the road behind the hospital (albeit I 'disappeared' to Cologne for seven plus years in December 1948). That was the land that was originally John Innes horticultural laboratories and gardens. Thus John Innes Park and the Rutlish school he grounded. Anyway, the Edgar Lustgarten mysteries were all made there and the park often appeared in open air scenes. Knew it all well.

The pub... The Emma Hamilton, a very undistinguished house, at Wimbledon Chase closed about two years ago. But yes, 3 or 4 minutes walk from the old studios. Pubs: The Nelson Arms is where the gate to where Nelson's Merton Place stood, but the actual house site is nearly half a mile on to High Path. A classmate lived in Nelson's gardener's cottage, long since demolished. That wasteland that is whatever now but in my day was Merton Board Mills was opened by William Morris whose house stood at the pub adjoining where the bus station is or was in its original form. His neighbour was Edmund Littler who began what is now Liberty & Co. In the same area there are abundant bits of Roman ruin, being on Stane Street of course.The Grove, by S Wimbledon tube is the other end of the estate of Merton Place. The Kings Head, part of which was Morris's house, a decade or so gone after being there since 1500 and something, had a medieval licence for ale brewing from the Priory, originally for the monks, etc, and was one of the few that continued to do so until at least the mid-1970s, sadly before the new wave in local brews arose.

Then there was the Surrey Iron Railway from Wandsworth to Croydon, horse drawn but considered to have been the first long distance railway in the world that set the gauge and sleeper spacing that are the basis of the worldwide standard today that the Nelsons and Mertons (Horatio's brother's titles and thus the lordships on both tracks before Lippything got a sniff in) invested heavily in. Nicholas Breakspear, the only English pope, was born locally and educated at the Priory as too Thomas Becket studied there. Walter de Merton, who founded the Oxford College of the same name, was a local lad. David Garrick and Richard Brinsley Sheridan were both born at the same house there.

The closest type to its boredship of today I can think of locally is Hotham who had the distiction of developing Bognor Regis and was knighted for that, probably one of the most meaningless, glib seaside towns ever. Like some contemporary chaps then...

It is a very history rich area, completely destroyed generally. My sister still lives there in, extraordinarily, Rutlish Road where the school first stood when Innes donated the land and most of the rest of the area was still a garden suburb with wide, straight roads with houses designed by H G Quartermain who was the finest architect in the world in his day and lived in the area.

Somewhere, packed away, I have several area histories bought well before I went to Cambridge. But let me not bore you rigid or else I will search for books and then you've had it...

Of couse! I went many years ago to look at doing a redevelopment at Merton Studios where I believe there were connections. Merton Studios were Sarf London's answer to Ealing etc! I think there was a "Nelson" pub there and is my memory sure or not some connection with the Hamiltons?

It has been 'blue plaqued' for as long as I can remember and flats for about just about as long. The few Hardy Roads in the area (Colliers Wood, Wimbledon, etc) are all Nelson's Hardy though.

Hardy lived at Trinity Road just south of Bellevue Road on Wandsworth Common. The house in flats when I last passed.

I grew up a stone's throw from South Wimbledon (euphemistic name) tube station and know the entire area well including the Bec Abbey and St Anselm connection. So know the Huhenot stuff. I believe the revocation of the edict brought far more French folk over than the former though.

I also took part in the Merton Priory digs because I had obligatory archeology as an undergraduate and my primary school was its namesake (well Abbey instead of Priory). I had a report from roughly 1958 on the state of the Wandle before pollution was in vogue at all and its biochemistry was just unbelievable.

Knew the murder story too and have some things about Hardy in Tooting somewhere. Plus the fact that there is a record of Nelson and Hamilton having dined at a respected inn on the Commons of Tooting and Streatham whilst doing nooky things where my former primary school now stands!

I do not expect though, that its oh-gawdship will pass into any of that history. Doubt he will even make a footnote. As for transportation, agree, perhaps to Mitcham but no closer to France please! :)

Now, now, Brian. You're getting into my specialist subject area! There's a book I have somewhere in my library "Lost Rivers of London". I'm thinking of writing a new one "Lost causes of London". I received an email from m'lud Liposuction last night accusing me of abuse and wishing me well in my "exile"! I briefly replied saying life was of course hell. I discovered he was on the Financial Services Authority of all things but left rather suddenly after about six months. He was also an adviser to Blair etc in the 90s. I would have thought that transportation would be in order, but please not to France.

The stream to which you refer goes under the whole length of Northcote Road and then under Falcon Road. It is known as the Falconbrook. Of course the whole area was very well known for the FRENCH expatriates/exiles who arrived there after the Edict of Nantes. I was myself an avid supporter of Youngs and knew some of the family. A lot of the heart has gone from the town centre. It may eventually be regenerated, despite the antics of the Council and interested local (in)action groups but I don't think the old vibrancy will return. It'll be High St UK per norm. One of the most famous murders of Victorian Britain took place just off Tooting Common. The house is still there!

Tooting Bec: well I believe they put the Bec stream on the Common that was a tributary of the Wandle underground around 1990. Good reason too. Since the Wandle, Bec and all were the most polluted river system in Europe (really) by the end of the 1950s (couple of centuries of the Carshalton tanneries through to Merton Board Mills and all between) but they fed both the famous Lido and Youngs Brewery - I imagine his lordship must have been an enthusiastic swimmer who consumed lots of Young's Special in his journalist days. Addled what served as a drain, sorry I shall respell that, grain, no try again, brain...




On ye heinoufe crimes of

Lurking with intent on ye political sidelines,

pontificating on SUNDRIE matterf beyond hif LIMITED comprenhenfion

A reward of 100 guineaf

is offered by ye moft honourable fociety of gentlemen expatriates of her Majesties kingdom




I second, third and fourth that last sentence...

Funnily enough I just copied my letter to PE! maybe a joke will emerge re PIPS etc..... I leave it to others to enlarge on the enormous potential of the mammary scandal.

I imagine that they couldn't find anybody else in London over Christmas and did a trawl in the mist on Tooting Common and the choice was tarts, dogs, muggers or faded politicians or on second thoughts............

As another ex T-Bec (part-time) resident - do you have the earthliest who asked for him thereabouts anyway? Bet it wasn't Ian Hislop...