Politicians in the UK have been in the spotlight for the last week or two after revelations concerning the abuse of expense accounts. Seems like most of them have been 'at it' and the original protestations centred around the whole affair being 'a problem with the system' and 'the system needs overhauling'. Well I'm sorry, but no system includes claiming expenses on something that is already paid off and I can't believe that anyone with a real sense of public duty would for one moment imagine that this or some of the expenses claimed were legitimate.
Had any ordinary citizens - the Man on the Clapham Omnibus for example - made such claims they would have been banged up for fraud. And how on earth did these expenses get past the Inland Revenue? Ordinary employees face reels of red tape when it comes to 'perks', 'expenses', or 'company benefits' with the laws on company cars a classic example. How the MPs have got away with it all this time is beyond my comprehension. Perhaps the real perk of being a British MP is that you can blatantly circumvent the laws that govern everyone else?
Stephen Fry made some good points about the media coverage of the scandal when he was interviewed for Newsnight but even though I agreed with his observations on journalists' inclinations when it came to their expenses, MPs are servants of the public and as such should always remember the money they have to spend - or claim - comes from the hard work of others via their taxes. Something is rotten in the State of Britain - and requires some urgent sorting out.