Thursday, May 28, 2009

Servants' Quarters In Woking

A typical Woking scene

Via the Major, Tyler happens to know a good cross-section of well-heeled Wokingonians. Quite a few of them live in houses that would be described by the Mirror as stockbroker-style mansions. A number even employ cleaners and gardeners. And yet, none of them - not a single one - has live-in servants.

What is it with these Tory MPs? According to Sir John Butterfill (surely a direct descendant of Sir Talbot Buxomly above):

"I purchased a house in Woking in ­derelict condition. I gutted and rewired it. I extended the living room, I extended the kitchen, and made a family room off the kitchen... The mistake I made was that, in claiming interest [from the expenses allowance] on the home, I didn't separate from that the value of the servants' … er the staff … wing."
We're trying to identify the house, although Sir John has long-since moved on. In the process, he made a £600 grand capital gain on which he paid no tax.

And WTF did Butterfill buy a house in Woking in the first place? For the last 23 years he's been MP for Bournemouth West, which he describes as "a wonderful place to live", and where he has his "main home" (a £56 grand flat which he says he did up with bits from B&Q). At no stage has he been MP for Woking.

On Newsnight, he said it was because his wife didn't want to live in London, and Woking has excellent commuter links.

OK, that's true - in fact, Tyler used those very links himself for over 20 years. But Woking is not quite the transportation idyll Butterfill suggests, as a journo resident explained in this classic FT article from 1994:

"Woking has one of the biggest colonies outside the capital of that semi-troglodyte sub-species - the commuter. You see us in the twilight hours at either end of the day flocking on to dirty trains to Waterloo station and the City where we grub out our high five-figure and sometimes six-figure salaries.

Pallid features, furrowed foreheads and greying temples are the hallmark of unfettered slavery, resigned adherence to the worship of work as the only source of keeping the head above water.

Filing off the train with all the other commuters at Woking railway station any evening of the working week, it would be easy to conclude from the vacant, fatigued expressions that you had joined the ranks of the living dead."

So was Sir John among those ranks? And did those feet in ancient time shuffle onto the 7.17 sardines express to Waterloo?

I doubt it somehow. Apart from anything else, Parliament doesn't get going until about mid-day, by which time you can grab an entire First Class compartment for yourself.

PS During the Newsnight discussion, Lord Fattersley said he was intensely relaxed about Tory duckponds and servants' quarters - after all, everyone knows that's what Tories do. We're pretty relaxed about them too - just don't ask us to pay.


  1. Very well said. These tips are really amazing. I appreciate it for sharing them. I really appreciate this, thanks.
    Marketing consultant dorset, Business Rescue dorset, Business Rescue bournemouth, Pensions bournemouth, Business funding dorset

  2. Kami adalah industri Toko Mebel yang menjual mebel berkualitas harga murah Mebel Jepara Minimalis yang tentunya dengan kualitas terbaik dan khas dari pengrajin mebel dengan ukiran mebel minimalis Jati katalog produk mebel kami banyak dan lebih dari ratusan hingga ribuan produk yang bisa anda cek disini meja makan minimalis dengan harga yang relatif murah anda sudah bisa mendapatkan produk Kamar Set Jati Minimalis asli produk mebel jepara yang berkualitas dan di kerjakan oleh para tukang kayu asli jepara yang sudah berpengalaman di bidangny. Selain itu toko mebel kami juga menjual produk kursi tamu minimalis asli produk jati dari jepara, Di samping itu produk yang kami tawarkan memang benar-benar mempunyai kualitas tinggi, tersedia juga produk buffet minimalis yang merupakan salah satu produk utama yang harus ada dalam satu hunian rumah kami sediakan dengan berbagai macam model Meja Makan Minimalis produk minimalis yang tentunya sangat elegant Kursi untuk ruang Tamu Jati Minimalis sampai dengan model yang mewah yang tentunya. kemewahan dari produk yang kami tawarkan berbeda dengan yang lain contohnya meja rias minimalis produk modern berbahan baku jati yang tentunya sangat awet untuk anda peroleh untuk ditempatkan di rumah anda, semua itu anda bisa melihatnya di katalog produk tempat tidur minimalis asli karya toko jati Mebel Jepara Minimalis. Kami juga ada produk modern berbahan baku jati yang tentunya sangat awet untuk anda peroleh untuk ditempatkan di rumah anda, semua itu anda bisa melihatnya di katalog produk mebel jati dan untuk semua produk yang kami koleksi nantinya produk tersebut akan kami tawarkan sesuai dengan harga mebel jepara. Anda jangan khawatir karena produk yang kami jual itu mempunyai kualitas yang terjamin yang di buat oleh para pengrajin furniture jepara yang sudah berpengalaman di bidangnya. Tentunya kami tidak ingin mengecewakan para konsumen kami,maka dari itu kami memberikan produk furniture rumah minimalis dengan harga yang terjangkau. Semua furniture yang kami jual adalah produk dari kami dan jika anda ingin melihat koleksi furniture dari jepara anda bisa mengunjungi toko online jual furniture minimalis jepara yang berkualitas dan terpercaya.