Stop it! My head hurts from shaking it in disbelief alone. I’m pretty sure that you heard that UK newspapers had (through some questionable means) acquired and published details of UP parliamentarians’ expense claims, causing a huge stir-up.
In short, many politicians of all parties are excused to having exploited an overly generous expense system. (Here’s the detailed breakdown.)
That alone doesn’t surprise me much. Neither am I surprised by what happens next:
Step one (public declaration):
I have done nothing wrong; all my expense claims were in line with the guidelines, and lawfully approved.
Step two: (thinking to self):
Hmm, there’s a lot of public pressure here. And actually, claiming for cat food really doesn’t look too good. Of for 18 months of a mortgage that had been paid off. Or for a second home, while my good wife, also an MP, also claims for a second home. Or for three different second homes within a single year.
Step three: (public declaration):
I insist that I have done nothing wrong, but I’ll repay a five-digit figure anyway, in order to restore my now falsely damaged reputation and integrity.
How can I trust a politician how can neither stand by the claims of rightfulness, or admit exploiting the system?
Some brought lame excuses of claims being made by accident or poor accounting. Some others even acknowledged inappropriate claims, or withholding taxes, offered repayment and think this is the end of it. If Joe Public â€˜withholds’ £13,332 in capital gains tax (See Hazel Blears), it certainly won’t be done with “Oops. Here’s the money.”
Now it’s all the speaker’s fault. He let us do it, so his head must roll, appears to be the common logic. One cannot but shake the head in disbelief.
Anyone erroneously claiming £16,000 expenses on grounds of “poor accounting” is not fit for office in the first place, so how… Didn’t I tell you? I shake my head in disbelief so much that it hurts, and much of the nation seems to shake alongside.
But, where’s the fraud squad I wonder? Few seem to ask for it, and many seem happy with apologies, paying back, and a few scapegoat resignations. Now that makes me truly shake my head in disbelief.