Thursday, June 18, 2009

MPs' Expenses: Expletive Deleted

When the transcripts of the Watergate Tapes were being put together, it turned out - on top of everything else - that President Nixon had a bit of a potty mouth. And as a result, all of his naughty words were removed and replaced with the now infamous phrase of "expletive deleted."

I can't help but be reminded of that when I look at the published details of MPs' expenses:

Of course, there may well be a security reason as to why all the details couldn't be printed - if I was a fraudulent MP, then I'd be worried about the public getting their hands on any one of my addresses. But it becomes less fine when you think about what information hasn't - after a lengthy battle under the freedom of information act - been brought into the public domain. The BBC (who also provide the picture above) have some examples:
  • Hazel Blears - The former Labour minister claimed second home expenses for three different properties in a single year but the redacted receipts do not show this as addresses are blacked out.
  • Andrew MacKay - From the official receipts it would not have been possible to know the Tory MP claimed for a second home without having a main constituency home.
  • Margaret Moran - The Labour MP who claimed £22,000 for dry rot on her second home. The receipts do not show her second home was in Southampton -100 miles from her Luton constituency.
  • Sir Peter Viggers - Tory MP who tried to claim £1,645 for a "duck island", the official receipts show no evidence of the unsuccessful claim.
So, the information volunteered by MPs under extreme duress after The Daily Telegraph has already gone to town on those in the Commons is incomplete. But it isn't just incomplete - it is lacking in some of the crucial details that have helped to force the worst offenders both out of High Office and, in some cases, out of Parliament at the next election. I didn't think the publication of these expenses could do any more harm to Parliament: I was wrong. Even now, even after they have been exposed and judged as fraudulent fucks, they still try to hide. Openess and transparency mean nothing to the current crop of Parliamentarians. Our best bet is to replace them at the earliest opportunity. 

Because they really are a bunch of total *expletive deleted* *expletive deleted* who deserve nothing more than being *expletive deleted* right up their *expletive deleted**expletive deleted*. They truly, truly are worthless *expletive deleted*.

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At 9:59 am , Blogger Letters From A Tory said...

It was an appalling situation and the public will be very very angry about this. If it wasn't for the Telegraph, we would have been completely whitewashed over the abuses of the expenses system.


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