Monday, May 25, 2009

OK, we get it, move on!

For about the last 6 weeks, there has been one 'News' story dominating the British headlines, and that is MPs claiming on expenses.

Let me make something clear here, I agree that the system is broken. I agree that claiming for cleaning your moat is taking the piss, but he's a Tory MP - of course he has a moat!

However. Very little, if any, of what has been reported has broken the rules laid down. The rules are wrong but here's the thing, and there's no getting around it - Changing the rules, and then punishing people for following the old rules when they were in force is not what we do in a free society. There is no room for ambiguity here, you don't do it. You use the abuses of the old system to highlight the need for change, you make the changes, you move on.

Because the Daily Telegraph has made an industry out of this scandal (an industry only rivaled by the Daily Express' continued obsession with a long dead royal), a lot of the genuine abuses are mixed up with perfectly innocent mistakes, but obviously a British journalist couldn't possibly highlight honesty as that wouldn't sell so well. I find it particularly amusing that it is the Torygraph reporting on this garbage, given the fate of Sir Conrad Black.

What do I mean by innocent mistakes? Well, whilst there is no doubt that the cabinet and shadow cabinet are riddled with snakes, weasels and general sycophantic, weak-willed turds, your average MP shouldn't be tarred with the same brush. I hate politicians, but mainly because our electoral system (such as it is) allows them to rest on their laurels.

What I dislike most about this tediously inevitable lazy journalism, is the lack of actual investigation. There are a lot of MPs int his report who submitted claims that were not eligible, noticed the mistake a few weeks later and paid the money back immediately. That's without the aid of what passes for an 'exposé' in British journalism these days. That's right, years ago this was happening and yet they paid it back anyway! One might possibly infer that these people made an honest mistake and then rectified it! Oh Horror!

This, clearly, isn't true of all of these tossers. Although I think Douglas Hogg should get to keep his money, claiming for cleaning a moat cleaning should be rewarded just for the sheer audacity of it!

Remember, all of these claims got approved by someone after they were submitted. Someone approved that moat cleaning - who's that guy?! You don't sack someone for doing what has been done for the last 50 years, just because your shitty system got found out. These are MPs, you either don't select them to run for you next time around or you let the voters choose at the polling stations. Sacking them is just a weak appeasement that solves nothing, other than to make the public feel they've achieved something with their media generated outrage. It's a tried and tested method of controlling the mob.

Bottom line is, the electorate are being played. Pay attention to what's actually going on, calm the fuck down and watch what they are actually doing, otherwise a nice 'Independent Inquiry' will be set up. To appease the squawling masses, a few heads will be put on pikes (no fear, they'll get a few non-executive positions to tide them over). The Inquiry will drag on and on, and maybe some time next year it'll be quietly release suggesting that the rules should be changed so that they are now in Tahoma instead of Ariel.

1 comment:

James UK said...

Sick to death of this myself. At least we don't have something an American friend told me about the other day;

They were watching a sit-com, only to have a news story "break-in". That had been running for a minute, when they announced another breaking news story... a break-in news flash, "breaking in" to another news flash!

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