Saturday, May 09, 2009

Who's Milking Who?

11 pages in todays Telegraph on the MP's expenses 'scandal', which they seem to be releasing as slowly as they can. At this rate it will be roughly 30 days to get through all 650 or so MP's. In my local Tesco's corner shop there were two stacks of Telegraphs (unprecedented), shunting the Mirror and Express out of the way.

Remind me who is milking this expenses thing? Is it MP's, or the press? Or the retailers? Or pretty much everybody?

It's not about 'systems' (did the party leaders agree on a common line yesterday? What are Cameron and Clegg expecting to come out about their people?), it's about character. Being an MP doesn't make you immune from greed, neither does being a journalist, nor does being a retailer. And if you're in a culture that winks at it, or even encourages it, then it's even harder to act with integrity.

This doesn't just expose the greed of MP's, it exposes the greed of everybody. Isn't that what got us into the credit crunch in the first place?


  1. We had such a scandal a few years ago, over travelling expenses, dubbed the "travelgate" scandal by the media, but it looks as though your MPs could teach ours a few tricks.

  2. David

    Didn't realise you wrote in the Wardman Wire - I saw the piece, but didn't notice it was yours.

    Think my point about the lack of a moral dimension in the commentary stands - the general commentary has been talking of outrage, but reluctant talk about morality for fear of the magnifying glass being turned on them. Your piece is one that comes closer to taking on the moral argument head on.

    Religious leaders have a space to step in and claim that territory (but not the high ground) by pointing out that the reason people feel outraged is because MPs behaviour has been unjust and immoral.

    Lord Carey has done just that today, I'm pleased to see.