posted on May, 12 2009 @ 06:29 AM
We are in political turmoil in the UK today.
Long gone is our fixation on kinky sex in hotel rooms, drugs scandals, cash for honors, dodgy deals...
Now we're down to the real nitty-gritty of government corruption, things that damage and enrage the common man more than a front-bencher's penchant
for frilly knickers.
For those living under rocks, the Telegraph has, for the last four days, been leaking the details of the expenses claimed by our elected officials,
left and right. This is the money we give them in order to do their job in representing the people of this country. But I'm sure you are aware of
this, you'd have to be in an isolated cell with padded walls and no Human contact to not know (which is where I dare say most of our elected leaders
should now be).
From bath-plugs to silk cushion, moat cleaning (yeah, every Englishman needs his castle, right?) to maids, we've been paying for it all.
The only enjoyment I have found in all of this is seeing such usually eloquent officials scrambling for excuses while being barraged by questions.
Over the last few days we've seen these elected being hounded by press as they take a risky and hastened walk from one shadowed doorway to another,
and never before have I heard so many of them stumbling for words and searching for the right excuses.
It would be entirely laughable, if they even understood what it is they have done and accepted it. But they don't.
We've heard them say "it was within the rules" as an explanation. As if that makes it ok.
They even say that they know the system should change and that it is wrong, but they say this while ignoring the fact that they still went along with
this system, tried to prevent change, attempted to block any release of these details...
I would like one member of the press, the next time they hear an MP use this statement, say "but you still abused the system for your own
Cue more stumbling and searching for the right excuses.
So, where from here?
There is no doubt that the system needs to change. We need an external body, truly independent, to rewrite the rules and then monitor the use of
But more than this, we need to make these people realize that paying for the cleaning of their second home is not the job of the public. If they want
a mansion with ten bedrooms, a second home 100 miles from their constituency, a moat, they have to pay for that. It's not our job!
These people are paid upwards of 60k a year to work for the people (Many are on more that 100k). That is FAR above the national average, despite what
they like to believe they deserve for doing this job.
I agree that travel expenses, hotels for diplomatic visits, stationery should be paid for. But I'll be damned if we should be paying for second
homes, the cleaning of them, their lunches, furniture and refits. That's what their pay is for! That's what normal people spend their salary on! Why
should these people live lives of luxury at the expense of the tax-payer AND have a high salary to bank?
So, I have a proposal...
Second homes to work in London? Buy up a tower block in a run-down end of London and they can use that. They can then also see the squalor people have
to live in. Nothing will get these places repaired and revitalized like the wealthy elite having to live there. They'd soon come down to earth with a
bump if their only London accommodation is a sequestered council tower block.
MP's don't deserve second homes at our expense (and to gain profit from when selling!)
Equipment should be paid for by the house and issued to the MP where possible. Need a laptop to work on the train (just before losing the USB stick
holding the details of a few thousand constituents, of course) put in a request and it'll be delivered.
Have contractual agreements with hotels, then we know who was staying where (and if they actually were) and when, and why.
Food is a necessary fact of life, I have to buy my lunch at work, and no MP should be any different.
This farce has gone on long enough, and they've happily played it for every penny they can get. They've destroyed the credibility of government,
from all directions.
They should go. But what does this mean for the future?
I, for one, refuse to vote. I will never vote for any government in this country while I have any doubts about their abilities or moral codes. While
there are aspects of government operations not disclosed, they will never receive a vote from me.
I understand the implications of secrecy, but this does not extend to expenses, budgets and procedures.
I don't need to know that our government paid for the upkeep of a secret subterranean base, I just need to know how much was spent.
Having said that, I now fear what will come at the next general election.
It has been widely feared that the BNP might gain more power in the European parliament, and I think this is now a foregone conclusion. But how far
are we from such a party gaining power in the UK when all of those we previously trusted have abused their positions so eagerly?
This is my main concern, and while it is a very real threat, it doesn't convince me that my vote will matter or that anything will change.
I am hoping that another party will step forward, that something positive will come from all of this. We need a new party with drastic ideas in
everything from social change to energy independence. We need a party of people who truly work for their country with passion, people who want to do
the job for the right reasons and would be willing to stay in a council flat in East London if that was what the country asked of them.
We need people who are real citizens, not already wealthy people who refuse to accept that they have a moral responsibility to spend the taxpayers
Most of all, we need people who are not so arrogant as to think that it is right that we pay for their food, bills, housing, travel, staff etc, while
they pocket an already generous salary.
So, essay over.
Tell me what you think about this sorry mess, and what can be done to change our culture.