The latest revelations about broken lavatory seats, faux-Tudor beams, Gordon Brown's precise cleaning arrangements or rusks for an MP's toddler will be greeted by an instant barrage of indignation. “How dare they?”, people will ask. “And with our money!” But I suspect that for some readers and voters an interior voice will ask a quieter question: “How would my own monthly housekeeping expenses look, plastered across the front of a broadsheet newspaper?”Well, Matt old chum, I'll let you know on the day I get the taxpayer to stump up for them...
Many of those who now splutter about a Cabinet minister claiming for a bath plug are the same people who spluttered about the laxity of the previous arrangements when MPs did not have to submit receipts for small purchases.That's because things like bathplugs, Tampax and ladies underwear aren't things you should be claiming as 'perks of the job'. They are normal household expenses, and it's what your salary is for.
Big housekeeping bills are made up from the accretion of small purchases. Listing them is inherently undignified. MPs are damned if they itemise and damned if they don't.Well, we can certainly agree on the 'damned' bit, but 'undignified'...? These people have no dignity.
And what's your solution then?
I'd add £30,000 to their salaries (half of which would come straight back in tax) and abolish all their housing and living expenses. And I'd do it before the next election, having secured the tacit agreement of the Opposition not to make too much of it.Mmm, yeah. That'll make us all forget these letters, and decide that these crooked weasels are worth voting for after all, won't it? Brilliant plan!
Call him what else you like, but does anybody really, really think that Gordon Brown is a crook?Yes.
Oh, you're all out of questions, it seems. Well, you can read the comments to your article to get a flavour of just how it's going down with your readers. Not what you expected, I bet?