Friday, May 08, 2009

Down to Expenses

So where do we go from here? I’m talking about the sorry state of Parliamentary democracy, Government and above all, MPs expenses.

Listening to Harriet Harman MP tonight on Channel 4 News, I’m once again struck by the absence of any apology or sense of collective remorse for the exploitation of an expenses system which appears to have turned many members of Labour’s Cabinet into very successful property developers.

Now I’m sure the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats aren’t immune from the same revelations but the extent of the systemic abuse of Parliamentary expenses at the very top of Government; Brown, Blears, Hoon, Darling, McNulty, Beckett and more, is simply breathtaking. If I didn’t know better I would say that our present Government is trying very hard to lose the next General Election and plans to take our fading sense of democracy and any remaining trust in the institution of government, down with them.

Is that why one becomes an MP I wonder, to become a part-time property developer? People might be justified for thinking so looking at the records of Blears, Hoon and Darling. Lord knows what revelations will appear next.

With examples such as these it’s no wonder that young people are turned-off politics. They only have to watch the news or even YouTube, any evening to be swiftly disillusioned with the moribund nature of democracy in what is, after all, ‘The mother of all Parliaments.’ It was George Orwell who once wrote:

‘As with the Christian religion, the worst advertisement for Socialism is its adherents.’

Reading this week’s newspapers one has to concede that he had a point!


Anonymous said...

So eight months ago you were a thrusting young turk, telling the leader of the council that he was about to lose three councillors, on a matter of principle.

Now you sit at the table, as a chair of a committee, and now on the cabinet.

And you wonder why people think that you are a disgrace?

Anonymous said...

So can you tell us what expenses you now get as a Chair of a Committee and now as a memeber of the Cabinet?

And are you doing your bit for the community and giving your expenses to charity?

And you do what for the community, "in your free time"? Help youth groups, do something for the underpriveleged?

Of course not. You do what you can to promote yourself, as a fearless Cllr taking the money, and giving nothing back voluntarily!

Lucky for you that you have no moral values!

Anonymous said...

Sorry simple Simon, meant to say, don't feel paranoid!

It is not a question of you thinking that people don't like you. There's no need to be paranoid because people really don't like you!

You're a two faced liar, running with the hare and chasing with the hounds. And everyone knows it! Now that you have shown your true colours and sold yourself to Sandy, then just keep watching your back.

Sandy will make sure that he is on the top, and if that means using and discarding you, then you've already been had!

But lets face it, you're really not the brightest button out there are you!

It would be sad if it was not so comical!

DrM. said...

A week of course being a long time in politics!

I assume I can't add your message(s)to the others of support I've received?

It must be very frustrating for you watching my progress from whatever dark corner you occupy in the late hours.

Of course, readers don't see the great majority of the messages you send me as in terms of anonymous malicious comment, they set new standards of poor taste. So you try and post them on other blogs, leaving their authors wondering out loud to me over the phone as to what kind of sick and twisted creature you are?

The sad fact of the matter is that nobody really cares what you think of me or Sandy Ezekiel or Roger Gale or the Conservatives however many comments you may leave here or elsewhere. Your words hold no currency and you have no identity to support them. So move on, get some sleep and develop an obsessive fixation on something or someone else.

Anonymous said...

I, like many people I imagine, are wondering why the police have been called in to 'find the mole' who disclosed the expenses fiasco yet no charges will be brought against the actual MP's themselves. This disclosure will not only expose the parasites in Parliament but also show us the reasonable claimants of public funds. I am sure our own MP will be amongst the latter.....let's hope so.
Any MP is sackable, if not by his party then by the electorate at the next General Election. I urge every voter to read the expenses list very carefully and vote in accordance with their feelings.

Tony Beachcomber said...

Personally, I think the Daily Telegraph should publish a list at the other end of the scale of those who have claimed the least, there you will find the Socialist MP Dennis Skinnner and other true Socialists near the bottom.

DrM. said...

Tony, I somehow recall Michael, seven houses, Meacher who was the subject of a Ch4 documentary several years ago and the author of a socialist book which advocated that nobody should own more than one house!

I wait with some fascination to see how his portfolio of properties may have progressed since then.

Anonymous said...

Can I add Tory MP, Derek Conway who paid his sons for doing very little? Mind you, he has paid the price by being de-selected and has had to repay the money.

Let's not kid ourselves that the Tories are immune from feeding their faces in the trough of expenses paid for by the taxpayer. Perhaps the Telegraph will move on to the other parties and highlighted their abuses of the system.

Tony Beachcomber said...

Simon, what is the basic allowance for a TDC councillor nowdays per month. When I got elected in 95 it was £69 and that was taxed. I never claimed for anything else and I used to buy things for the Margate Museum with the surplus.

Now your'e lot are in I bet it must be in the hundreds.

Oh by the way I don't read socialist books, my socialism comes straight from the heart.

DrM. said...

I'll take your Derek Conway and raise you Hazel Blears?

I'm certain that no party is without sin but suspect one party may have more sinners than others.

It will be really interesting to see how they tally up or perhaps they are all as bad as each other!

DrM. said...


After tax it works out at about £274. So rather more generous, after inflation, than your day.

Tony Beachcomber said...


I suppose for the Councillor who puts in all the spade work, holds surgeries , prints newsletters and is available to the public that is reasonable.
It is a shame the absent ones nobody ever see or hear of get it.

Call me Infidel said...

Had Dr. Johnson been born a century later his observation that patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel could perhaps have been changed to socialism being the last refuge of a scoundrel.

I am under no illusion that there will be plenty of Tories who have had their snouts in the trough as well, but the hypocrisy of people such as Blears, Hoon and one of the biggest scoundrels of the lot Blair (who managed to get his receipts shredded somehow) simply beggars belief. The most sickening aspect is they all sing from the same song sheet. "It was within the rules."

Maybe we need to set up Hattie Harperson's court of public opinion to rule on that one. Still my conscience is clear. I knew from the outset that Blair was a snake oil salesman and I am proud to say I have never voted for Labour and never will. Hopefully this will be the straw that breaks the camel's back and consigns them to the wilderness indefinitely.

Anonymous said...

Struggling under impressive councillor finds way of supporting under tyhreat leader, and gets push up the ladder and financial benefit!

Such honour, such moral fibre! Such grasping !!

Anonymous said...

All very well knocking Labour, let's hope the critics are as vicious when the Tory MP's expenses are revealed ! People have short memories, ALL MP's who have milked the system should be exposed. I doubt the sales of the Telegraph have ever been higher and the 'mole' who exposed it all should be knighted. At last someone has the guts to give facts where we only had suspicions before.

Anonymous said...

anon again!

You can almost smell the anger of the British Public who is scraping a living out of these 'hard times' when their voted in representatives are creaming the top of their milk, and committing demented fiddles.
Politician...1. a person who is active in party politics.
2. a seeker or holder of public office, who is more concerned about winning favor or retaining power than about maintaining principles.
3. a person who holds a political office.
4. a person skilled in political government or administration; statesman or stateswoman.
5. an expert in politics or political government.
6. a person who seeks to gain power or advancement within an organization in ways that are generally disapproved.


1580–90; < F politicien. See politic, -ian

4. Politician, statesman refer to one skilled in politics. These terms differ particularly in their connotations; politician is more often derogatory, and statesman laudatory. Politician suggests the schemes and devices of a person who engages in (esp. small) politics for party ends or for one's own advantage: a dishonest politician. Statesman suggests the eminent ability, foresight, and unselfish patriotic devotion of a person dealing with (esp. important or great) affairs of state: a distinguished statesman.

Not a contriving criminal!