I have neither the time nor the inclination [any more] to write multiple posts daily on this matter; when I first began blogging 7 years ago I probably would have done so, but there are now so many bloggers writing copiously and well on this and other matters that I am content to leave the vast bulk of this necessary chronicling of events to others and instead content myself with occasional observations on some of these matters and on a few other more quirky topics that come to my attention, but that others mainly haven't bothered with or been aware of. This time I'll content myself with including below a list of links to various of the Telegraph's articles on MP expenses over the past few days; it is clear that some of the 'revelations' are much more serious (and evidence a level of corruption much deeper) than others and that a few of the facts so far revealed would seem to suggest that for the MPs concerned their political careers should, in any sane and just world, be over. So far the main spotlight has been turned on the Labour Party, with a few Conservative MPs and Sinn Fein MPs coming under scrutiny too, but I've no doubt that the Conservatives, LibDems and others will receive their due attention in coming days, or at least I certainly hope they do.
My Telegraph list of links:
(First published: 7 May 2009)
MPs' expenses: how Brown and his Cabinet exploit expenses system
(First published: 8 May 2009)
Expenses: How MP's expenses became a hot topic
MPs' expenses: how Gordon Brown and his Cabinet exploit expenses system
MPs' expenses: Gordon Brown forced to defend allowances system
Harriet Harman forced to defend MPs' expenses
MPs' expenses: Gordon Brown cleaning contract
Charles Clarke demands immediate publication of MPs' claims
MPs' expenses: 'lack of moral leadership' revealed by politicians
Gordon Brown blames expenses row on 'the system'
MPs' expenses: Commons authorities ask police to investigate leak
Gordon Brown refuses to defend Cabinet ministers over MPs' expenses
Tony McNulty could face police investigation over MPs' expenses
Barbara Follett: Millionaire MP's £25,000 expenses on security over safety fears
MPs' expenses: Four ministers who milked the system
MPs’ expenses: MPs condemn parliamentary move to call in police over leaked expenses
Phil Hope: How did he fit all this into one tiny flat?
MPs expenses: The best of the begging letters
Immigration Minister claimed for women's clothing and panty liners
MPs’ expenses: Police consider whether to hunt source of leaks
(First published: 9 May 2009)
MPs’ expenses: Ministers have presided over 'scandals of shamelessness'
Harriet Harman: Deputy leader unable to claim second home cash
Gordon Brown: Cleaning cash for brother was legitimate
MPs’ expenses: Few checks on the honourable members
MPs expenses: Questions and answers
MPs’ expenses: 'Publication is defining moment of sorry saga'
Keith Vaz: £75,000 for a flat 12 miles from home
Vera Baird: Solicitor General tried to claim cost of Christmas tree and decorations
MPs expenses: Michael Martin's four-year battle to keep the details secret
Ben Bradshaw: Mortgage bill paid on home part-owned by boyfriend (* - see at end)
Margaret Moran: Second home 'flip' paid £22,500 dry rot bill: MPs' expenses
Barry Gardiner: £198,500 profit from a flat renovated with MPs' expenses
Alex Salmond claimed £800 for food on MPs' expenses during recess
MPs' expenses: minister Kitty Ussher used allowances for £20,000 house make-over
MPs' expenses: Sinn Fein claimed £500,000 for second homes
John Reid claimed for a pouffe and a glittery loo seat on MPs' expenses
(First published: 10 May 2009)
Iain Wright and Tom Watson lavish £100,000 on shared central London flat on MPs' expenses
Kevin Brennan had £450 for television delivered to family home on MPs' expenses
MPs' expenses: Lord Carey, former Archbishop of Canterbury, condemns 'culture of abuse'
A few comments:
- note how a very early reaction was for the 'Parliamentary authorities' to call in the police to try and find the 'leaks', so outraged were they that a light had been shone on their corrupt 'shenanigans'
- quickly followed by a rather less knee-jerk reaction when some MPs realise that the public reaction is fury, mingled with derisive laughter, at their initial squeals condemning the Telegraph;
- the 'Dear leader' quickly tries to distance himself from the goings-on amongst his 'underlings'. True leadership indeed!
- the bald-faced effrontery of some of the claims and attempts to justify them stretches credulity way beyond reasonable limits;
(*) - there have been some comments in the media today that this story may reflect some kind of 'homophobic' prejudice on the part of the Telegraph; my own view is that whilst the copy-writer has given the piece a title with somewhat unpleasant overtones in this respect no doubt for pithiness and to catch the eye, the way the article is written is not in any way 'homophobic'.