That the right wing press is exposing the flaws of members of the Labour government is not surprising; though there are rumours that Conservative MPs are equally concerned over the release of their expenses data. These are due to be published in July. This is not a new story, as far back as 2004 the £118,000 average expenses claim from MPs was causing concern.
Casting my mind back to the end of the Thatcher/Major regime I recall the 'cash-for-questions affair'. Here politicians were willing to take money in exchange for raising topics in parliament for Mohamed Al-Fayed. We could add Aitken and Archer, whose arrogance and greed led to them being jailed for perjury.
I can see two explanations:
- Towards the end of a long term of single party government, the MPs become increasingly corrupt and convinced of their own invulnerability.
- We have managed to create a system of government which is inevitably corrupt.
Politicians must not be left to decide for themselves how the system of parliamentary allowances and expenses should be reformed, the chairman of a Westminster sleaze watchdog said today.and for now he seems to be doing well, as Brown is in such a weak position. That said, I would not hold my breath.
The simplest explanation that I can come up with is that old adage...
“And remember, where you have a concentration of power in a few hands, all too frequently men with the mentality of gangsters get control. History has proven that. All power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely."