Friday, December 11, 2009
Expenses Poison Still to Work its Way Through the Body Politic
Not sure I feel much sympathy with Austin Mitchell, the witty and media friendly MP for Grimsby. Today he sort of begs for understanding and a break for MPs 'still stuck in the stocks.'
"I blame Gordon Brown for allowing both to take their mandarin's revenge on MPs. He appointed mandarins with no knowledge of the real world and a grudge against troublesome MPs. They duly took their revenge for years of being excluded from the sofas of power and bullied by brutish parliamentarians. Legg's shakedown has now reached me with a whacking claim for repayment of an overpaid mortgage. It's largely my fault, but it's also due to the incompetence of the fees office. Yet no excuses can save me from the wrath of Grimsby. The mood produced by the Daily Telegraph is so ugly and so immune to reason"
His wife's note at the end of his piece is even more unconvincing. The fact is, MPs, (while having a kind of case for the defense),if they have any political nous should abandon it and wear the sackcloth and ashes for as long as it takes. Voters are furious, every poll on expenses proves this and thery should just recognise this fact of life and stop whingeing. Mitchell's wife bought a lovely chrome kettle for £76 and his wife is surprised there is criticism. Any voter knows you can buy a good electric kettle for under £20, so it's not surprising really is it? Just another sign of MPs 'not getting it'.
The Expenses Scandal has still to work its way thoroughly through our political system. So far 120 MPs are retiring before ther next election-more than the record 1945 figure- as they weigh up how the damage they have sustained will affect their chances: reead more about this here. Yet, I note from the splendid Callus and Dale Total Politics Guide to the 2010 Election that Hazel Blears is standing in her Salford constituency again. Now if Martin Bell fancies another spell in our Mother of Parliaments, there is a constituency in which to stand.
As for Mitchell, I see he's appearing on 'Tower Block of Commons' along with Nadine Dorris.
He'll spend a week on a grim estate learning how poor people live. What a c**t.
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