John Prescott is interviewed by Decca Aitkenhead in today's Guardian. In a characterstically frank and rambling interview, Prescott shares some of his colourful views on pay in the House of Lords, Nick Clegg, Ed Miliband's leadership and that Moneysupermarket.com advert. Here are the highlights.
On the House of Lords:
Look, right, the MP gets a full wage throughout the year, he gets money for the secretary, he gets travel expenses, all them things. I get £150 a day, right? And no fucking secretary, right? Now I'm doing the same job! If I was a union official, I'd be bloody leading them out! Now, look, I don't mind doing a job, but pay me the same as what you pay others I'm working alongside. It drives me, in a way, into doing other work, which I've always been against and never done for 40 years.
On his reasons for the boxing advert:
I come to the Lords, and I've got a fucking part-time secretary! That's why I did the boxing advert. To get money for a secretary.
On Nick Clegg:
People have an opinion about Clegg, we all know he won the X Factor we call the general election, right? But we found with The X Factor, like, with the what do you call them? The Dead Beats? No, the Jedwards. People kept voting for them even though they were rubbish!
On AV – will it help to restore public trust and political accountability?
Absolute nonsense! And what's the other thing they say? "It'll bring in hard-working MPs." The buggers that say it are part-time themselves half the time! Cashing in on their expenses while telling us we need to reform? What a load of crap! Clegg can't even remember when he's at work!
On Ed Miliband:
Who? [before Aitkenhead specifies surname]
Look, I think he's got a difficult job. I always said I disagreed with his campaign, 'cos he talks as if there was no record. I think he's now put his jacket on, though, thank Christ. All this business of no tie, no jacket, I think that's wrong.
I talk to Tony more than Gordon. But then Tony keeps in contact. Gordon switches off. I'm not going to tell you what I think about that, 'cos you'll bloody well print it.
I don't have to worry about what Gordon or Blair or whoever will think if I do this or that now. I'm speaking for JP now.
On political wives:
What is it with this wifeocracy? All the wives! Cherie Blair. Even Cameron's wife. They're all running round the fashion shops giving their political views. It's a wifeocracy! They're not elected by anybody! I mean, bloody hell, you've only got to talk about the Speaker's wife, haven't you? They only get on 'cos of who they're married to! They might not like this, but that's what it basically is.