By Humphrey Carter

IN the space of just 36 hours, the British government and MPs have been caught napping and napping overseas. With Europe thrown back into a serious financial crisis at the end of last week with fears of Italy and Spain needing a bail out and the U.S. losing its AAA credit rating, European leaders tried to discuss solutions from the comfort of their sun loungers.

Then, over the weekend as parts of London was rocked by the worst rioting for 25 years, senior government ministers' telephones continued to burn, just like their well oiled skin under their sun cream.

A recent Abta report has revealed 42 percent of Parliamentarians have headed abroad this summer, and by the looks of it, it's going to take some doing in forcing them back to their desks.

Four in ten MPs are going to mainly European destinations while a similar number of their colleagues in the Lords are also flying off, although they are heading for far more exotic long haul locations.

What is more, 20 percent of MPs will be taking three or more holidays this years compared to 44 Peers.
In fact, while less Britons are going abroad because they can not afford to, the percentage of MPs taking three or more holidays has grown from 7 percent in 2010 to 19 percent this year.

Granted, the Home Secretary flew home yesterday to meet police, and Clegg spoke, but many will be saying it's a little too late.

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