I don't know if you've been paying attention to the MP's expense scandal in Englandposted by The Vidiot @ 2:42 PM Permalink I really haven't been following the minutia of it, because well, we have enough crap going on here on this side of the pond. But I had some time today to read a bit of it, and well, I have to say, it's pretty amusing. For instance, Ian Gibson, a senior Labor MP, is stepping down because he got caught expensing a Fiat for his daughter and her boyfriend, among other things. There are others: Two Conservative MPs will be stepping down because they got busted for expensing their gardens, which I THINK included a moat. A third Conservative MP may not survive politically when it was revealed he claimed a tax break for a mortgage he didn't have. Three more Labor MPs are under investigation and I believe, the list goes on. The whole thing has a whiff of pre-french revolution to it, including a 'Let them eat cake' like comment from one of the MPs.
Anthony Steen, the Tory MP forced to stand down over his expenses, has suggested people were "jealous" because he lived in a house that resembled Royal residence Balmoral.So, it goes without saying that the people are pissed. But what are they pissed at?
It is not, therefore, the expenses scandal that has stirred up public anger. It is a general feeling that there are people who are using our money to fund lifestyles far beyond the average voter’s – and using their position to exempt themselves from the rules. Ordinary citizens are fined for sorting their rubbish incorrectly, or making an error on their tax return; MPs reconfigure the tax system to their own advantage, or even (in Lembit Opik’s case) claim £40 for a summons for non-payment of council tax. We pay more in fuel duty; they claim for their weekly shop. We are hemmed in by laws and regulations they are free to ignore.Yes, indeed, those in power play the system to enrich themselves. The story is practically older then dino poo, and definitely more ubiquitous.
Yet, while the British people are contemplating revolution, we here in the states stand to the side and think "Wow, aren't those Brit politicians mendacious?" But what makes us think that similar things don't happen with our Congressmen and Senators and Judges and Presidents and whomever else is in a position of power? How many of them have paid for a car or an apartment or taken a deduction that benefited them at the taxpayer expense? But will we ever know? Will they be investigated and if investigated, prosecuted? Remember, every player on the power team, up and down the line, benefits from the system as it stands. Changing that system is not on their agenda. What's happening in Britain could also happen here if maybe our infrastructure was a little different. Our politicians are no less greedy or mendacious. You know it, I know it.