British MPs have started whingeing again about the audit carried out by Sir Thomas Legg into MPs expenses.
They complain that Sir Thomas has imposed limits on expenses retrospectively when no limits existed at the time the expenses were claimed. This argument is disingenuous.
While it is true that the old system had no preset limits to expenses it had a clear principle that expenses were only claimable if they had been incurred wholly, exclusively and necessarily in relation to parliamentary duties.
MPs were too greedy to abide by this principle and so Thomas Legg is quite correct to set criteria by which to assess their adherence to the principle. By claiming that this is a retrospective limit MPs merely show themselves yet again to be deceiving, seedy and self serving.
Ann Widdecombe was on the television news yesterday complaining that she had stuck rigidly to the rules yet she may have to pay money back. She appeared quite angry.
I also am angry. I am angry that MPs knew the system was being abused yet when given the chance to reform the system in July 2008 they voted 172 to 144 to reject reform. Since there are 645 MPs in The House of Commons this means that 330 MPs could not even be bothered to vote. They had their chance and they blew it. Since they were complacent about expenses in 2008 I suggest they blame themselves not Sir Thomas.
It’s interesting that despite many reports that MPs are angry about Sir Thomas’ letters not one of them saw fit to raise the subject in PMs questions. Also interesting is that Gordon brown chose to open PMQs by reciting the names of the British soldiers who died in Afghanistan during the summer while parliament was not sitting. Now, I am not saying that Brown was not sincere in his compassion for the the fallen troopers but when you have a manipulative snake like Mandelson in your government, I think one can be forgiven for thinking that the reading of the names was a publicity stunt dreamed up in an attempt to distract attention from MPs expenses. If find this pretty bloody contemptible.
It was claimed by some Conservative MPs that in an argument between the Shadow Chancellor George Osborne and Gordon Brown’s aide Ian Austin, where Mr. Osborne argued for reform Mr Austin told Mr. Osbourne to “fuck off”.
Gordon Brown should call an immediate General Election and then perhaps they might all fuck off.