"If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."

Friday, 10 December 2010

Restitution & Rectification

'Rectification' was the name of the deal by which MPs who had wrongly claimed expenses could repay them in secret. As a result, 17 MPs were re-elected at the GE without their constituents knowing the full facts.

The Guardian usually does a good job of breaking down and itemising the who, what, when, where and why of MPs expenses but they're mesmerised by Wikileaks and the student protests. They've barely had time to mention Blair's recall to the Iraq Inquiry next year although Gordon Brown's interest in heading the IMF (God help us all) has a full page article.

It's been left to the DT to itemise the repayments made by the 40 MPs on the understanding that their names would be kept secret. The DM adds some meat to the bones including the revelation that David Tredinnick (Con, Bosworth) claimed, and received, £755 for astrology software - no doubt trying to divine his future chances of re-election.

Deputy Labour Leader Harriet Harman tried to suppress the release of the information, not surprising when we find out that she claimed & had to repay £13,200.
Sir Alistair Graham, the former Chairman of the Committee on Standards in Public Life, said, “These things are best dealt with at the time of the offence rather than at some later stage under pressure from the media.”

He said it was “obviously not” appropriate for the reports to have been buried in a corner of the Parliament website on a busy news day, adding: “It has all the hallmarks of playing everything down then publishing it on a day when the biggest news story is university fees.”
Some of the claims are pretty minor, eg an MP used one pre-paid envelope when he shouldn't, and are no doubt honest mistakes but the whole fiasco is indicative of the sense of entitlement the majority of MPs had and still have.

'Elite' is just a word used by some to describe other people as being set apart from the norm and it's used by some to describe themselves.  This has to stop.  MPs are not 'elite', they're just representatives of the people elected by the people for the people and it's time they remembered this.  Before they were elected they were just people, the same, neither better nor worse than the majority of those they represent.  Their current privileges are not God-given and are not in perpetuity.  I'm not expressing it very well but I think you'll know what I'm saying.

As mentioned above, if you're interested the Guardian still has the best live updates on Wikileaks anywhere on the planet.

I'm going for a walk to clear my head of political double-dealings and deceit.  There's more to life than chronicling the machinations of a self-styled national and international 'elite' who toy with us, nudge us, regulate and control us:

3 comments:

  1. They have pretty much all got away with what for us would have meant loss of job and probable imprisonment, the worst part of it all for me is the way they have stymied any meaningful sanctions or change to the system they so assiduously suck the teat of...and we have let them...so sad

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  2. GV that waste of space is IMF bound alrighty. His reward for totally pkekking us over, the muppet. Time to complete the job on the West. Did I mention that he's a total, total, total (insert word not invented yet)? And a complete one at that the mentalist drugged up loon!! His Rock/Roth bosses will have him on weapons grade psychotropics though. BTW look out for the Moribund Milliband getting some sort of reward on the international stage, WTO/UN cushtey billet would be his reward for being...oh I think you get the idea. AAARRRGGGHHHHH!!!!!!

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  3. Nomine, you're right, they have pretty much got away with it. They're still regulating themselves despite creating IPSA, a supposedly independent body, to oversee the expenses system. They're shameless and we're being mocked.

    Hi Icoming. Before he was kicked out in May it was rumoured that all his globe-trotting and saving the world was to raise his profile for the job. Voting gets us nowhere.

    Have you read this? A 12yr old had a visit from the police warning him about organising a protest at the closure of the local youth club. In the face of abuse of power like this I don't know why we bother.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2010/dec/10/schoolboy-quizzed-cameron-office-picket

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