Action and reaction

How corrupt is your MP?

It started here? It started here?
Cause and event, action and reaction, threats and opportunities. No, this is not a short course in management-speak, just a simple observation on the back-wash from the MPs' expenses story, which is now old enough to have its own momentum. True there will come a point when this is history but in folklore terms it's here to stay.

When it comes to the credit crisis Gordon Brown, or Mr McEyebags, loves to tell us “it started in America”. It is said that the PM both loves and admires the US. So funny, is it not, that he failed to spot the problem coming and get some better regulation in place? One would assume that he has studied the US in detail on a regular basis, so would have been on the ball; ah well, missed a trick there. Which is a pity as politically McEyebags comes from the tradition of introducing more legislation at every opportunity.

And when it comes to the expenses' scandal McEyebags could have said, but did not: “it started in Scotland”. As a Scot you would have thought that McEyebags would have been aware of the approaching expenses' scandal because, as Fraser Nelson said - “this juggernaut was coming down the track”, Nelson was writing about the Scottish parliament, see: HERE

Never mind, “it started in Scotland” does not have the same ring to it! As we have blogged before fellow Scot John McFall, Chairman of the Treasury Select Committee, during the process of raking over the ashes of the bonfire of our banking industry loved to tell people that they had been “asleep at the wheel”. So how to describe our PM, McFall and Speaker Michael Martin plus all the other MPs in Westminster?

Back to the Scottish Parliament October 2005. The Scottish Conservative MSP for Edinburgh Pentlands, David McLetchie, was forced to resign over the level of his expenses, £11,500. These details were obtained via the Freedom of Information Act and related to claims dating back to 2002. McLetchie went on to make a “commitment to fully reimburse any expenses which I have claimed in error”.

So this is why the MP for Lancaster and Wyre, Ben Wallace, a former MSP for North East Scotland, was the first MP to put all his expenses online see: HERE

It is said that this action by Wallace caused friction among his parliamentary colleagues! However, it was admired by others and he was given the Campaigner of the Year award by the Spectator in 2008.

So it would seem that most of our MPs cannot run their own affairs but would run ours; they also seem confused by the angry crowd. There is also, understandably perhaps, an attempt to weed out the good MPs from the bad. But,and again perhaps understandably, this is not done along good or bad lines but on those of party. Hence we have had some suggestion that the Liberal Democrats are either not involved, or if they are, then their sins are forgivable. This is tosh. This may be true for the MPs, so far, but will it last? It's my experience that as local councillors the LibDems are as bad as the others.
No, it started here! No, it started here!
The public anger now directed at MPs will in time reach MEPs, local councillors, public servants or even anyone in the public eye. This includes journalists, for they certainly have a case to answer which pre-dates the Damian McBride affair by a very long time. It is now clear that they have known of but not reported on a great deal of horror stories, because it suited them.

The Guardian is suggesting that the possible Nulabour Cabinet reshuffle is being 'spun' in selected newspapers, the Financial Times gets a mention. Odd that, as following the departure of McBride our Prime Minister, Mr McEyebags promised the end of spin! So the relationship with the press is as before, no wonder the crowd is still angry.