UK Parliament Clashes Over Champagne Preferences

Efforts to consolidate the British Parliament’s budget by having the House of Lords use the same caterer as the House of Commons didn’t account for the peers’ (the name for a member of the House of Lords) taste in champagne. In something of a let-them-eat-cake-moment, “the Lords feared that the quality of champagne would not be as good if they choose a joint service.” According to The Guardian, peers have enjoyed a £1.3 million annual catering budget which has allowed for high-class bubbles in regular rotation, purchasing “more than 17,000 bottles of champagne since the coalition took office.” This privilege is, of course, not in keeping with governmental austerity. There is barely enough budget is allotted to the upkeep of Westminster Palace, but £5,713 worth of champagne sits in House of Lords reserves as of March.

While everyone processes this obvious misinterpretation of a public servant’s rights, they’ve been admitting that this elitism is not restricted to the House of Lords; the House of Commons MPs are plenty bourgeois: “even the clerk of the Commons’ jaw dropped when he first heard what MPs had been able to claim on expenses,” making this derisory decision even more offensive. After all, MPs don’t drink swill. They toast with Taittinger, as well as their own brand champagne (best paired with the HoC’s Champagne Truffles).

If not for the sake of the tax payers, peers should perhaps recant on behalf of their dilapidated palace, where mice have been seen in tearooms and its “perennially overflowing urinals.” [The Guardian] [Image: Flickr/38 Degrees]