Sunday, May 17, 2009

What I can't understand about the MP's expense accounts scandal is this ..

Why didn't they see it coming? Surely it must have been obvious after the Freedom of Information Act was passed in 2000 that something like this was going to happen sometime? Surely anyone with any sense would have known that the press were going to probe at some stage, and would have taken care to be careful. It was only a matter of time.

It is also a shame that the good MPs, the ones who only claimed what was right, are caught up with this too. I hope they sort it out soon.

The phrase 'Augean Stables' comes to mind.

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1 comment:

Francis Davey said...

The river Thames is very convenient for the traditional method of clearing Augeian Stables.

I don't believe that MPs really understood the way in which the FOI would apply to personal data - mine wrote to me earlier this year under the impression that, somehow, MPs were being singled out when in fact they have more protection than other public body employees.

Had the heavily redacted receipts been released later this year as intended, quite a few of the more serious revelations that are now coming out would have been hidden including "flipping".

What I find particularly annoying is that the vast majority of MPs do not seem to "get" how wicked they have been and how appalling their behaviour. The majority of them seem to have broken "the rules" in the sense you or I would understand the term, but they persist in denying this.

I am sure you, like me, have plenty of experience of the way people claiming housing benefit or paying tax are treated when they make "mistakes". They are treated that way because MPs have legislated that they should. Such double standards make it hard for me to believe that any of them are really honest human beings.

The idea that its only some MPs is also nonsense. The extent of the abuse must have been common knowledge within the house yet nothing was done about it. It took the actions of Heather Brooke and others to start to expose the mess.