Friday, March 12, 2010

Expenses fraud here and there

Former National MP and Children's Commissioner Roger McClay appeared in court today on fraud charges over misuse of his parliamentary perks. It seems like it was a quiet affair. It was a different story in the UK, where three Labour MPs and a Tory peer appeared on theft charges over expenses rorts - and were greeted by protestors:

Outside Westminster magistrates court a vast crowd of photographers had gathered, and a somewhat smaller crowd of protesters. What they lacked in numbers they made up in spray-gunned anger: placards denounced "Bakers, politicians, rozzers, grasping, corrupt, filthy pigs the lot …" Some wore pig masks, others were dressed as Guy Fawkes.


Outside the court there was chaos. "Oink, oink, oink" yelled the people dressed as pigs. "Bye, bye, scum, bye!" said someone else – and he was a photographer. The three MPs and their brief somehow struggled into a cab which managed – just – to drive away without crushing a dozen cameramen's feet.

The hate is palpable - but then, that's understandable. Rather than accepting they are subject to the same laws they make for others, these MPs have declared themselves above it, and are trying to hide behind Parliamentary Privilege. Its utterly shameless - but so typical of a political system which still sees the people as something to be ruled over, rather than represented.