Due to the move of the blog to Wordpress posts from Jan 2012 onward will have commenting disabled (when I remember to do it)
Cheers - AE

Monday, 11 May 2009

Popcorn V

Another lot of popcorn sprayed across the room, this time through laughing hard enough to give myself an injury at the latest 'solution' to the issue of MP expenses.
A new auditing body, independent of the House of Commons staff who currently check MPs' claims, will be announced on Monday by the House of Commons Commission.
The House authorities hope the new body will help reassure voters about MPs' use of their expenses.
However, the rules governing what MPs can and cannot claim will not be changed, meaning the new audit body may not make a significant difference to what is claimed.
The auditing plan was announced by Sir Stuart Bell, a Labour MP who sits on the Commission.
Would that be the same Sir Stuart Bell who only a couple of days ago was busy bleating about how unfair and underhanded it was that the expenses have been made public?
"If this was received by unauthorised means, it is disgraceful that a national newspaper should stoop so low as to buy information which will be in the public domain in July. It undermines the very basis of our democracy and is against all the rules of fair play."
I'm looking forward to hearing what you claimed for, sunshine (I notice his wife does a bit of traveling for starters).
"We are going to some length to meet the public's anxiety and give them reassurance," Sir Stuart said. The new unit will "reassure the public that we do take fully into account their concerns".
You're fucking dreaming. I very much doubt the new unit will do anything of the kind while the same people are setting the rules and think it's okay to claim for all they can rather than all they need in order to cover actual costs.
The audit body will be staffed by "skilled people from outside parliament," Sir Stuart said. Once the unit is established, he hoped it will be "hived off" to the private sector.
The decision to involve outside experts in handling MPs expenses constitutes a major reversal in policy from the Commons authorities.
Well that's not a bad idea, though since the troughing cunts opposed it until oooooh about now we all know bloody well that it's a panic reaction rushed out in an attempt to placate an increasingly angry public. And of course in can only work within the rules, and remember...
...the rules governing what MPs can and cannot claim will not be changed, meaning the new audit body may not make a significant difference to what is claimed.
It'll probably be some improvement over this bunch - looking forward to reading what they've been up to as well - but other than that what's it going to achieve? If we're going to think of Westminster as the Augean stables, as many people have already suggested, then shutting the stable door after the expenses horses have shat everywhere and fucked off is really not enough. And in fact this proposal isn't even shutting the stable door so much as measuring it up for a bead curtain - there really seems nothing substantial to stop the horses from wandering back in and shitting even more. Assuming diversion of the Thames is out of the question, tempting though it may be, the best solution is to get rid of as many horses as possible, starting with the shittiest and most dysenteric nags and going on to spare only those that miraculously turn out to be clean.

Still, I suppose that this new expenses unit is a start of some kind, so is it good news?
The new unit is expected to cost around £600,000 a year to run.
Ah, perhaps not ll good news. Forgive the cynicism but this can't possibly have been accurately costed if it's been put together over the last couple of days, and the Government's track record of accurately costing projects that have been considered over vastly longer periods of time is fucking laughable. This smacks very much of pulling a number out of someone's arse and I wouldn't be surprised if it ends up costing as much or more than it actually saves. It's happened before after all.

Like so much else in Government and politics in general this whole idea is back to front. First get rid of the venal little shites who've been abusing the system, then tighten the rules and model them on the norms for the private sector to prevent future abuse, then put in a simple system of public oversight such as an overview of monthly expenses published on each MP's website with detailed soft copies available for download if anyone, constituent or otherwise, feels like doing their own audit.
Related Posts with Thumbnails