Sunday, May 10, 2009


Last week, the Daily Telegraph published detailed information on senior Labour MP's expenses claims, revealing a variety of scams and rorts and a culture which can only be described as shamelessly corrupt. The UK government responded by calling in the police to investigate not the "near-fraudulent" behaviour of its MPs, but the Telegraph for uncovering it and holding them to account! And then they have the gall to complain about "cynicism" and "apathy" among the public...

MP's need to be paid, and paid well - it's commensurate with their responsibilities, it removes a large incentive for corruption, and it ensures that politics is open to all, rather than just the wealthy. And they should get reasonable expenses related to their work, so they can do the job we expect of them. But this sort of snouts-in-the-trough rorting - engaging in property speculation on the taxpayer or using Parliamentary allowances to evade capital gains tax - is simply corrupt and abusive. If politicians treat the public with contempt, they will respond in kind, and the political system will become even more divorced from the people it purports to represent. and then we all lose.