Monday, May 11, 2009

It's easy when you have nothing to hide

Full marks to my former MP Annette Brooke, she has published her expenses on her website for all to see: a total of £1765.85, interesting that so few are able to do the same and justify their expenditure. This seems utterly reasonable and consistent with my opinion of Annette as a very honest and ethical lady; it is a shame that her and those with a similar attitude to what is justifiable will receive little media attention and instead it is those who are playing the system for every penny that will tarnish the image of all elected politicians. I assume that focus will turn to the Liberal Democrats at some point this week, then perhaps to minor parties who are also getting as much as they can from Brussels, the London Assembly etc etc. One wonders who will benefit out of this and what impact it will have on democracy and the MEPs and councillors that are elected in less than a month. Will the minor parties benefit and how much will those parties use this as a weapon against the 'establishment'. The Jury Team hint it will part of their contribution on Sky tonight, the British National Party have launched an attack on Labour and the Conservatives already; but can either make an electoral breakthrough at a time when turnout is more than likely to be severely depressed and when the parties are going to have to expend energy digging themselves out of the whole some of their elected members have put them in rather than making a case for people to vote for them. Brings to mind that ancient Chinese curse 'may you live in interesting times'; clearly we need more MPs like Annette Brooke to make their defensible and low-level expenses public to try to bring some balance to this highly damaging fiasco that could well undermine British democracy.

By the way: revelations show Sinn Fein claiming £500,000 but never attending parliament; so where exactly were the scrutineers here? Did no-one at any time think about any of these expenses or are the laws that lax? Guess I do not really need to ask that question, the answer is all too obvious.

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