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"A plague on both your houses" MP's Expenses

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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 benefit!"
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 public money.
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 money sparingly.

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.

Blessed Be.

posted on May, 12 2009 @ 06:42 AM
Oh I am soooooo in agreement with you on this.

The one that was leaked yesterday, about a guy claiming £25,000 to fix a broken pipe under his tennis court just made me hugely angry - his response was that the claim was "within the rules and justified".

Well it might have been "within the rules and justified" but frankly its completely and utterly morally corrupt in a day and age where people are starting to lose thier houses. If the guy wants to play tennis why the hell doesn't he use a lesiure club like the rest of us, or pay for the repairs out of his own pocket and not at taxpayers expense as he can afford a house with a tennis court in it.

None of these fools have any integrity at all. And all they have done is set up a "review" and an "audit comission" that will basically allow them to carry on ripping the tax payer off with the thin veneer of "oversight".

Being an MP is a priveledge, not a right. They should be paid a salary and very basic expenses that cover the cost of a single person flat in London and their travel costs by public transport. Other than that, they should be doing what the rest of us are doing, and making do.

posted on May, 12 2009 @ 06:44 AM
MP's reveal No1 on Parliamentary Hit List.

MP's aren't the only ones who take the p!ss out of tax-payers. The same can be said about top level management/executives in local authorities and other organisations such as the NHS.

No dualling but £348m goes on A1 consultants

NHS spends £350m on consultants

Why do local authorities & the NHS employ CEO's, Directors, and other so-called key-managers (on massive salaries), who then need to hire consultants for advice? Why not employ managers/executives who already know how to do the job?

UK Parliament - Corruption and fraud rubberstamped by rules they wrote themselves.

posted on May, 12 2009 @ 07:32 AM
reply to post by BetweenMyths

And this is the problem, it seems widespread.
This is the culture we find ourselves dealing with.

I actually work with a person from my local council, and some of the things they waste money on is insane. He has told me before how they maximize their budget with pointless expensive projects to ensure their budget isn't cut the following year.

There is a culture of wasting money in leadership, from local authority to central government.

But what I fear is where central government now leave us. People are left with a very hard decision to make; vote for the same secretive and self-serving government officials, or decide to change, and how drastic a change will that be?

posted on May, 12 2009 @ 07:40 AM
Spot on mate!!!

Couldn't have worded anything better myself.

I have to buy my own toilet seats, paint and furniture, so why the hell do these guys get away with claiming it all? Oh yeah, i forgot, they created the laws in the first place. What a great 'democracy' we have when that can happen.

They're all at it. They see it as a perk of the job. So no only do you get paid £65k+ a year, but you can live for free, make a profit from taxpayer's money and still get additional jobs elsewhere (where they get the time for additional jobs when they should be working hard as a public servant is anyones guess!).

posted on May, 12 2009 @ 07:52 AM
reply to post by BetweenMyths

Funny you say that about the NHS BetweenMyths.

I read recently in an underground local newspaper that they had uncovered a ring of major building companys scamming the NHS.

Basically, when the NHS puts a contract out they accept offers from local building companys. The three largest ones had a consortium going. So the three always bid way way way too much money, but the job always goes to the cheapest (at still very over-inflated prices). They simply rotate which company 'wins' the contract each time and split the additonal income. Since there's no other building contractors in the area large enough to compete they win every time.

So the scammers scam the scammers scamming the people. Guess who's always at the bottom of the pile and footing the bill.

posted on May, 12 2009 @ 08:09 AM
reply to post by Nammu

I'd be interested to know what paper this was, seems like an interesting story, it's a shame most mainstream papers are too weak to pick up on it.

Something else that annoys me about this government; they are investigating the leak as a criminal offense.

So a leak is out that embarrasses government, they didn't have the chance to sanitize and clear their own release of information before it was leaked by someone else.

It is relevant to the public, leaks had never been pursued legally before this government when it was in the public interest, but this government is obviously so corrupt that they don't feel they need to answer to the people!

The person who leaked this has at least some moral standing, even if they were paid handsomely for it. That was private money, not public. And if it takes the desire for personal profit in such financial climes to expose such corruption, so be it.
The only preferable way to do it is to have a truly independent body paid by the public to investigate accusations of corruption. And to do so openly.

The only way to make sure these people are cleaner than clean is to have them answerable to the people they represent, in every aspect of their job.

posted on May, 12 2009 @ 08:45 AM
I have to agree with the the comments made on this thread and if I make claims like this professionally, I would out on my ear!!

But what are we are the tax payer and the electorate going to do about this. Let me tell you. NOTHING.

At the next general election, we will return either a Labour or Tory Government that will make promises to reform to get us to vote for them, and either do nothing or spend the next 5 years dragging their feet.

There is no magic party that is going to stand up on this one and get elected that will change this gravy train culture. Why, if they are not forced to change, would they? And I know posters will say that if I was elected I was not claim for this and that, but it is very easy to post here about what you might do if elected but just how many of us are going to be that the situation?

Currently the Tory party is getting the spot light, are the Libdems that clean? I wonder and only time will tell.

And then to top this sorry saga off, we have the Speaker of the House going off on a rant against certain members who ask questions.

One thing I will predict.................even less people will vote

posted on May, 13 2009 @ 08:20 AM
It's easy to see we're bieng lined up for a new Tory government. TPTB have been working pretty hard making Gordon look like a twat. Not that you'd have to work too hard at that though.

And David Cameron and his Tory mob are being portrayed as the new golden boys of politics.

Majority of people i know are apathetic and say what's the point in voting. Well as the geniuses of Southpark put it: You may be voting between a giant douche and a turd sandwich, but only you have the power to change things.

posted on May, 14 2009 @ 10:04 AM
I've crossed the threshold line

We must take our power back!
This is sick and we still sitting in our couches waiting for justice to take action.
That will never happen!!!!!!!
What can we do?
We the people should organize a social network and raise funds to put this politicians "mafia" in jail.
Someone with a fluid english writing(not my case) should start a thread about this.
If we join hands we can make world justice.
Think about it!
I'm not english but look at what is happening in my country about the freeport case involving our P.M.
In portugal there is a pedophilie case involving governmental and showbiz figures that will never come to fruition.
It's called Casa Pia case,and there is a lot more.
The Maddie case.STRANGE!
I'm sorry...

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