I suppose I should talk about the whole politicians’ expense scandal purely for its hilarity value.
It started, as far as I can tell, with Jacqui Smith’s husband buying porn at taxpayer’s expense. Speaking as a taxpayer (albeit a reluctant one), this was bloody funny. No one really begrudged him for it. Except for Jacqui Smith, obviously. Then it turned out that absolutely tons of politicians were using expense accounts to buy all sorts of crap.
I feel it only fair to point out that the percentage of politicians who fiddle these accounts are very likely to be an exact replica of the percentage of humanity that also fiddle theirs. You have to love journalists – legendary for their expenses – getting so morally outraged about the ‘evil’ political types with their snouts in the trough. You’d be hard pressed to find anyone that can charge something to someone else in the corporate world who hasn’t done this.
I guess the difference is that this time it is with taxpayer money. Whatever. What I have been enjoying is what this money has been spent on.
Some amusement comes from the sheer penny-pinching claims (these are real): Lembit Opik spent £19.99 on ‘the mother of all wigs’ for a charity gig, other MPs have claimed for face cream, a stamp, and £4 for a toilet brush. One MP claimed 1p for a phone call. 1p.
Funnier ones are: the MP getting his moat cleaned and another who spent £600 having the hedges trimmed around his helipad. This shows a certain level of class I feel. The MP who got his £1,645 claim for a floating duck house (modelled on an 18th century building in Stockholm) rejected must have been gutted. These three were Tories and a damn sight more creative than the tedious labour lot with their roof repairs and house flipping.
My favourite has to be: (from Metro) ‘George Osborne charged the taxpayer £47 for two DVDs of his own speech on Value For Taxpayers’ Money.’
That’s just genius.
I mean despicable.