Ian Hislop, editor of the satirical magazine Private Eye, recently said on the TV show "Have I Got News For You" that the current frenzy of revelations about MPs expense claims is like Christmas for satirists everywhere. I'd say that it's more like Christmas, Easter, and your birthday all rolled into one.
In one sense however, the ground zero issue of the expense claims almost pales into insignificance when we observe how the majority of MPs have acted since these revelations have gone public. The very fact that they tried their damnedest to stop this information from coming out should be enough to make even the most die-hard statist cringe but the constantly regurgitated justification of "I was only following the rules guv" (an excuse which wasn't acceptable at the Nuremberg war crime trials) should have them literally baying for parliamentary blood.
But no, we have the weak chinned, like Stephen Fry, babbling on about how trivial the whole matter is. I once thought that Stephen Fry was an intelligent free thinker but if even he is unable to see the implications of such dishonest dealings in parliament then one must truly despair. These MPs are the people who we trust to oversee (to a large extent) our "free" market economy, a large part of which consists of the property market. Does Mr Fry not find this synergy of power and vested interest disturbing? Does he not perceive the vast difference between a salesman bunging a few extra miles on his travel expenses compared to nigh on 600 MPs stealing the hard earned cash from the tax payers pockets to the tune of an annual £24,000 each? And this from "poor" politicians who "only" earn £64,000 a year. Aw bless. A person on Incapacity Benefit would be lucky to get £64,000 in benefit over two decades.
Incidentally, if you wish to find out just how mundane and anally retentive Mr Fry really is, then I challenge you to follow him on Twitter for more than 3 days without losing the will to live.
And then we have what appears to be the vast majority of subscribers to "Stupid Weekly" who think that the way to resolve this injustice is to call a general election so that we can replace this batch of free-loading corrupt power-trippers with a new lot. Hello? Anybody home? Whilst the massive response to the question "Can Politicians Recover From The Expenses Row?" on the BBC Have Your Say message boards is encouragingly "NO!", less encouraging are the number of people who fail to realise that changing the jailers will NOT change the jail. Surely anybody with two brain cells and five spare minutes must surely realise now that "democracy" is a sham and that our current model of "government" is fundamentally flawed. There is no sticking a plaster on it here or fiddling with this bit there to make it work.
It's fundamentally flawed.
So the real scandal here is that although the great British public now have ample evidence that our style of government is "unfit for purpose" and now have an ideal opportunity to press for (at the very least) total reform, they choose instead to attempt to rearrange the deck chairs on the sinking Titanic that is parliament. When more people start realising this self evident fact, then, and only then, will I dare to feel a modicum of hope that true change for a better world is around the corner.
"The most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to think things out for himself ... Almost invariably, he will come to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane and intolerable." H. L. Mencken (1880 - 1956)
a few wispy bits... - A few years back, I was at a BBQ with another gay man, of similar sensibility, were introduced, by an Australian lesbian to the expression ‘pant beard’ whi...
8 years ago