Sunday, May 03, 2009

The coming expenses storm...

A few days ago, the Daily Mail reported that the coming expenses publication was going to cause some massive ructions amongst MPs.
Three Labour MPs are said to be terrified that the release of their expenses claims will expose them as adulterers and financial cheats.

Four ministers are also understood to have warned party whips they might have to resign for abusing the system, when MPs' receipts are published before the summer recess in July.

The three unnamed backbenchers are said to have been placed on 'suicide watch' by Labour whips, who fear they might break down when the details of their excesses come out.

Two are understood to have had extra-marital affairs with other members of Parliament.

Not only are they believed to have shared hotel rooms during annual conference get-togethers and party away days but also to have double-claimed for the rooms on their expenses.

If both MPs have claimed for the bill they will be branded frauds as well as love cheats when journalists and freedom of information campaigners sift through their receipts.

The third backbencher is said to have made 'grotesque' financial claims.

A Commons source told the Mail: 'The whips have three Labour MPs on suicide watch. That's how serious this scandal is. The whips believe they might kill themselves.'

Good: you will find fuck all sympathy for frauds and cheats being uttered by your humble Devil. If these unpleasant little cunts hadn't decided to cheat the system—if they hadn't decided to steal our money—then they wouldn't be in this mess. And if these fuckers dare to put the whiskey, revolver and bullet on expenses then I will go and piss on their graves.

However—having read this Benedict Brogan articlemy peripatetic Greek friend speculated that all of this hysteria might be a heartstring-tugging ploy.
No doubt there are some guilty men and women who dread seeing the full extent of their Commons-approved criminality made public. It may be a shaming moment, one which might lead them to consider their position as MPs. But I wonder if we are not being softened up to provide sympathy and understanding: "Careful what you say about Jimmy McVenal's expenses, he's a bit fragile. Let's go easy on him, we don't want anything nasty."

Surely even these people are not so loathsome as to whisper to their chums in the press that their colleagues are going to kill themselves, solely in order to manipulate those hacks into soft-pedalling the revelations of their thefts when they emerge? Would even these bottom-feeders stoop so unspeakably low?

Well, put it this way; why would you even doubt it? These scumsuckers were discussing smearing the wife of George Osborne as mentally fragile to pick up a few Tory votes. Why the hell wouldn't they try the same treatment on their own side to reduce the haemorrhaging of Labour ones?

Well, quite. However, I suspect that although the sympathy from the public might be a useful corollary, it was not the main point of the exercise; no, I think that we now see what the true aim was.
THE House of Commons has decided to censor some of the most important details of MPs’ expenses claims due to be published this summer.

Among the information being blanked out are the names of hotels on trips, the destinations of taxis, names of shops and any correspondence with parliamentary officials.

The extent of the cuts has surprised some MPs who favour greater disclosure. Ben Wallace, the Tory backbencher who was the first member to publish full details of his claims, said: “It’s just ridiculous. They sent me details of a taxi journey I had made from Euston station to parliament and they had redacted the details of the journey.

“They have also removed the names of some suppliers I have bought goods from. I have written to them saying there is no reason the public can’t be given this information.”

The Commons fees office has told members that the only details of their expenses to be published will be the date of the claim, what was claimed for and the identity of suppliers of office goods.

It means that MPs who have bought costly or extravagant items for their homes will not have to identify where they bought them. In addition, any correspondence with officials about the legitimacy of claims will also be censored.

After all, if these "suicide watch" MPs were really worried about the disclosure of their expenses, then why wait until the actual publishing? Why not go now? Why wait for the time-bomb actually to detonate?

No, this was all a ploy to bring pressure on the Commons Fees Office so that they wouldn't publish crucial details at all.
In the febrile atmosphere at the House of Commons it was reported last week that some backbench MPs were on “suicide watch” because of concerns over what the expenses might show. It was rumoured that two MPs were particularly fearful as they had allegedly had extramarital affairs with other members, which would be exposed by double claims for hotel rooms.

As you know, I don't give two craps about people having affairs in the general scheme of things, but double-claiming for the rooms is just fucking fraud. But, dear god, Devil: how could you think that all of this "suicide watch" crap could have been manufactured simply to stop the publishing of these details? How could you be so fucking cynical?
MPs are now likely to be told that they are allowed to delete details of hotel stays if the names of the hotels have not been blanked out by officials.

How can I think this of our disgusting, corrupt, troughing, bastard representatives? First, it's because, being the Devil, I can guess how their minds work and—second—because the facts bear me out.

These people are institutionally corrupt, and they prove it with every new scandal and, worse, they prove it with every new "solution". And that is why I think that all politicians are corrupt, and that is why people like Dan Hannan attempting to say that it is my fault that these cunts are crooks pisses me right off.
In a democracy, you get the politicians you deserve

Really? Not one politician that I have voted for has ever been elected, so could you please remind me why the fact that politicians are crooks is my fault?
Here's an easy and inexpensive way to make MPs behave better. Expect it of them. I mean this quite seriously: if you assume that all politicians are crooks, you will eventually make your assumption true.

Well, Dan, unfortunately, we tried that, and the politicians betrayed our trust.

I do expect decency and probity from politicians who aim to tell us exactly how we can be prosecuted and fined and imprisoned and bullied and oppressed.

But trust has to be earned, Dan. Unfortunately, these politico cunts have proved time and time and time again that they cannot be trusted and, believe me, that makes me all the more disappointed and, therefore, all the angrier.

If there are, in fact, so many decent politicians in the Houses, then might I suggest that they stand up and denounce the cheats? Might I suggest that the honest ones press for the prosecution of their corrupt brethren?

If you want trust, Dan, might I suggest that you get your friend, Douglas Carswell MP, to call for these measures? (Although, given that he has seen fit to claim expenses of £153,378 (209th) of our money in the last year, you might want to ensure that he can justify his own spending first.)

I shall leave the last comment to the peripatetic Greek chap.
Once again, remember; those of us who have, for some time now, denounced these people as crooks and liars have consistently been ridiculed as hyperventilating bloggertarian loony-tunes. It is we, they have said, who are poisoning the well of politics; sure, there is the odd bad apple, they grudgingly admit, but it is our fault that there is such widespread and corrosive cynicism about the way we are governed. Unprincipled bloggers and a "feral media" are to blame for the breakdown in trust between rulers and citizen - conveniently ignoring the fact that, if it had been up to the vast majority of lobby hacks who report on Westminster, these people would still be stealing from us with impunity.

Well, don't expect any fucking humility from me when this comes out in the wash. Self-deprecation will, for one day only, go out of the window on that sunny summer morning, and instead all you're going to see is a wince-inducingly self-congratulatory post comprising a single sentence, writ in the biggest font Blogger will allow:




UK Voter said...

We are entitled to expect the highest level of honesty and integrity from our elected members of parliament. Anything less must result in a resignation and prosecution. If trust is to be restored, then the 'honourable' members are going to have to tighten up more rules than those on their expenses.

Henry North London said...

Go for it DK go for the jugular

Fausty said...

I believe Dan Hannan's comment "In a democracy, you get the politicians you deserve" alludes to democracy versus republicanism.

True republicans abhor the notion that 50% of the population can vote away your money and your rights, just because they happen to be in the majority. The ethos is that nobody should be able to vote away your inalienable rights.

In that respect, I heartily agree. Democracy is overrated and is entirely corruptible. That's why our politicians and their puppet masters like it.

Fausty said...

PS: A great forensic examination of the facts. Good job.

roman said...

'Expenses' includes staff salaries - this will be changed when the new system kicks in, where the employer will be the HoC, not the individual MP. 'Expenses' will then mean just that.

Wrinkled Weasel said...

I feel as if I have woken up in some terrible shithole of a country run by thieves and ratfuckers.


john in cheshire said...

MPs on suicide watch. I'd rather it was MPs being watched while they commit suicide. If they were to sell tickets, it might help bring the country back into the black.

thefrollickingmole said...

So whats the chance of running a "clean feed" post on MPs of all stripes who havent pillaged the public purse?

If there is any....

Antipholus Papps said...

We most certainly do not deserve these 'politicians', therefore I deduce that we live in nothing approaching a 'democracy'!

Dave H said...

I will never get over the fact that the Chairman of The Home Affairs Select Committee, which holds a wide-ranging law and order brief for the UK, is Keith Vaz, a man continuously mired in corruption scandals that at one time became so egregious that he was actually suspended from the Commons.

They put a shameless recidivist crook in charge of law and order.To steal a local phrase, fucking hellski.

Anonymous said...

They were trusted, in an institutionalised sense;they did not have to present receipts because they were deemed to be honest.

Like many people they could not see any sense in being trusted unless they could abuse it; make money out of it.

Don't put these fuckers on suicide watch, let them go ahead and do it.

I don't think the public has much sympathy with these clowns so keep on at them until they are forced to reveal ALL, or fucking commit suicide.

Jus Askin said...

If MPs commit suicide, do they put the funeral costs on expenses beforehand?

Trooper Thompson said...

Well said Antipholus Papps.

jonathan said...

" If you've nothing to hide, you've nothing to fear"- copyright the Labour Party 1997-2009. Twats.
Also as the great P.J O'Rourke said "Democracy is only one of Libertys' safeguards, and not the sureist".

Nick said...

It makes me feel sick that there are so many in position of influence, under the guise of public service, who lack the basic integrity to conduct themselves in an honest manner.

If the British public cannot trust this group of individuals on matters as basic as expenses, how can anything else that comes from them be believed?

Henry North London said...

Its time for a good old fashioned purge...

WV prepacks