Some of the details of what MPs were spending their second home allowances on were certainly an eye-opener. Why No Mandate Brown needs the taxpayer to pay his Sky TV subscription as well as a £187k a year salary I don’t know, presumably he has an explanation as to why his £187k salary isn’t enough to live on when minimum wage is less than a tenth of that.
Speaker Martin opposed the disclosure of MPs expenses to the taxpayers who are footing the bill and lost. But not to worry, he’s got a cunning plan – give all MPs a £23k grant in place of the second home allowance so taxpayers have no way of finding out what they’ve spent on their second homes. Genius.
When a government will go to such extraordinary lengths to keep their spending of taxpayers money a secret there is something seriously and fatally wrong with the administration. The British government runs the country because the people choose to subject themselves to its authority. The principle of trust underpins the establishment – the British government trusts citizens to pay their taxes and be bound by the laws it passes and citizens trust the government to govern according to the wishes of their constituents and to act with honour and integrity.
This rotten government has torn up the contract of trust between the people and Parliament. They have lied, they have cheated, they have stolen. Every week sees a further erosion of civil liberties and centuries old rights and privileges. Every week sees another exposé of sleaze and corruption from the heart of government. And at every turn MPs insulate themselves further from scrutiny. Every revelation of theft and corruption is met with more secrecy.
No more! We need a government that is open to scrutiny and transparent in all it does. There needs to be a culture at Westminster, at Holyrood, Cardiff Bay, Stormont and wherever the English Parliament decides to seat itself, of intense scrutiny, exposure and accountability to the electorate. It is simply not acceptable for politicians to grant themselves tens, hundreds of thousands of pounds of public money without allowing the taxpayer to see where every penny of their money is being spent. Rules on spending taxpayers money should be so tight that politicians are discouraged from spending anything for fear of breaking the rules and the consequence of any wilfull malfeasance should be a mandatory prison sentence. Breaking into a politicians home and stealing their telly will land you with a lengthy spell at Her Majesty’s pleasure yet and MP stealing tens of thousands of pounds of taxpayers money in fraudulent expenses is “punished” with a public apology or, if they’re expendable, a “resignation”.
Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? Well, me for one.