Has the taxpayer received bang for buck from Baroness Ashton?

7 April 2013

A great deal of fuss is being made about Baroness Ashton’s retirement salary. She leaves her ludicrous post as High Representative for Foreign Affairs at the European Union next year — and is being given only £400,000 to tide her over the next few years.

I think that is quite modest: sometimes, you see, the taxpayer has to take a deep breath and cut his losses. Better this woman be paid £400,000 for doing absolutely nothing, rather than receive her full salary for carrying on doing useless, pointless things in Brussels. It would be interesting, though, to add up how much the state and the taxpayer has forked out for Ashton since she began her career as chairthing of the National Council for Complaining About Everything, back in the 1980s. Every subsequent job at a quango or charity. I just wonder if, over the years, we’ve got bang for our buck from Cathy.

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  • Kevin King

    @John Court…are you being whimsical? Wikipedia really doesn’t do her justice. If you want the real low-down on her, the most reliable source is this man….very funny

  • Abhay

    What’s with her picture? Is she dazed? Is she sleepy? Is she bored? Who can tell.

  • peter gordon

    She is Gordon Brown’s joke on the rest of us!

  • Barakzai

    I always assumed this ludicrous appointment was Brownite spite to stymie Blair in some way. Either that or Kellner or Ashton have something big on the Mentalist . . . .

  • Austin Barry

    “Lookism’ is unfair, churlish and unacceptable – but, blimey, mate, the last time I saw a mouth like that it had a hook in it.

    • Austin Barry

      Mind you, I can sympathise, I was such an ugly kid that when I played in the sandbox, the cat kept covering me up.

      • Swank

        Grin! Now I think you must be suave and handsome as a mint julep on an antebellum porch!

  • Shakassoc

    I am quite disappointed by the ignorant tone of many of the comments on this post. Don’t you people realise that she performs a useful role: it may be called ‘economic drone’. She does absolutely nothing, of course, but receives a large wedge of wonga. And where does that wonga go? Into the economy of course. The money she receives is circulated and recirculated and helps the wheels of industry turn. She acts as a kind of one-person ‘worker’ — you know, the sort that is paid by the government to dig holes and then fill them in again. I suppose she is paid enough to cancel out the need for at least 500 ‘workers’ thus providing us with the economies of scale. So think again, you jaded cynics and armchair critics. Let’s hear it for Ashton. Let’s hear it for all the economic drones. In the interests of a vibrant economy, where do I apply to become one?

  • C Cole

    I like the particularly gormless expression on her face in the photo above. She would make a splendid extra in a 1950s-set Mike Leigh film about redoubtable members of the South London working class. Perhaps she could play the grumpy woman who runs the local corner shop.

    • C Cole

      She actually looks a little bit like the actress Ruth Sheen, who is a Mike Leigh regular. Perhaps they could make a film about Cathy’s life and times. Cathy Don’t Come Home, anyone?

  • DougS

    “….Better this woman be paid £400,000 for doing absolutely nothing, rather
    than receive her full salary for carrying on doing useless, pointless
    things in Brussels….”

    The only problem with that Rod, is that some other useless dick-brained trougher will be stepping in to the job and milking the system for about £250k/annum.

    We’ve really got to get out of the EU as soon as!

  • DougS

    “Has the taxpayer received bang for buck from Baroness Ashton?”


    Watch Nigel Farage’s description of her (from 1min 40sec) – or just enjoy the whole thing!

    • Forest Fan

      Nice link DougS

  • zanzamander

    I honestly do not have a clue what this woman does or has done in the past. I mean what exactly has she done all her life to be made a Baroness and then this High Representative thingy interspersed with some charity work. I mean what?

    At least i remember Rompuy, if for nothing else than at least for sitting there grinning like an idiot while being savaged by Farage. Ok, so Herman has no shame, not a crime, but what has this woman ever done?

    May I apply for her job, I too have done very little in my life, but that should be enough though, no?

  • Eddie

    This story makes me utterly sick. I know people who are rabidly pro-EU, and even they are appalled by it. There is absolutely no justification for pay-offs like this, in the publis or private sectors.
    Just more French-style EU Statist corruption.
    She is apparently being paid a big chunk to represent the time she didn’t spend looking for another job in the last year of her EU contract! She is being paid another chunk to help her find another job in the year after her EU contract ends. Incredible! And an insult to all of us who pay for such nest-feathering at the EU! It is immoral and wrong – can any leftie politician stand up and say so, I wonder? Perhaps as they look that dying elderly NHS patient in the eye?
    And anyway, I though we all believed in payment be results now – for example, most of us are disgusted how bankers got huge bonuses for losing their businesses money and wrecking the economy! Ditto with this. Perhaps she should have to replay her EU salary for doing nothing whatsoever of any use (except attend lots of jolly multi-lingo multi-culti EU paper-suffling meetings).

    • Eddie

      And the European Commission has never (yep, NEVER) passed an audit either. If a business were in the same position, it would be closed down by the fraud squad and its accounts frozen.

      • DougS

        And the directors would be spending time in the slammer!

  • Bert3000

    She’s been more use than that laughable bald bloke the British government sends abroad to embarass us.

  • FrankS
    • Shakassoc

      That’s better.

  • Hexhamgeezer

    How can one retire when one has never been in employment?

  • Robert Taggart

    Records suggest her ‘buck’ – Peter Kellner – has certainly had his ‘bang’ of her !

  • John Court

    I had not heard of her until now. A quick read of wikipedia yielded this cracker: “Never elected by anyone, anywhere, totally unqualified for almost every job she has done, she has risen to her current position presumably through a combination of down-the-line Stalinist political correctness and the fact that she has the charisma of a caravan site on the Isle of Sheppey.”

    • Robert Taggart

      Agreed, but, me likes Sheppey !

      • Dicky14

        Exactly, how rude. And i’m not sure about ‘totally unqualified for almost every job she has done’ – surely the ‘almost’ is redundant, like her.

      • Fergus Pickering

        Yup! Hands off Sheppey. I tookmy small dauhters there once. We had a lovely day. There’s a very nice supermarket in Sheerness.

    • rodliddle

      hey, that was me! Wiki right for once.

      • Eddie

        I had some luverly times as a boy on a caravan site in Sheerness! (my dad worked with some cock-er-neys, and bought a caravan there like wot they all done). So don’t knock it, son!
        Though – true – it wasn’t ‘charismatic'; but it also wasn’t pretentious and overpriced, like so many other holiday home ghettos!
        Why do people always think some food-poisoning-drenched, fly-blown, corrupt, baking desert in the Far East or Carribean is superior to a little British seaside resort – especially for little kids. All you need is a bucket and spade, and a net to catch tiddlers (and you don’t get none of them tsunamis in north-west Kent, either).
        However, Sheerness itself is two streets and not much else. But one has the beach and fishing and that, innit?!
        And I did watch the Falklands fleet return home to Chatham from the prom there in 1982.

        • rodliddle

          I like Queenborough. You can keep Sheerness though.

  • Noa

    A slightly churlish post Rod. How can you be so, well ungallant, towards such a diligent place-person ?
    And a Baroness is such a low grade peerage, isn’t it time we uprated her to being a Duchess? It’s no more costly to the taxpayer. Only £300 per diem at the House of Lords.Perhaps though, more than anyone else at present, she does represent the essence of public service.

  • Chris Woods

    Didn’t she work for the CND in the 80’s? How she became a life peer is beyond me.

    • chan chan

      She was the treasurer for KGB useful idiot front-group CND.

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