A week in May…

So unelected ordinary people will tell MPs whether they can claim a loo roll holder on expenses because they can’t be trusted themselves. How distasteful is that? The lack of trust, I mean.

An independent auditing body will now be asked to hold these image purse strings, a proposal which will be discussed by MPs tomorrow to help make people trust them more. On top of “smeargate”, it is no surprise that the public find themselves increasingly turned off politics.

Unfortunately, all this undermines the good and the great work which I believe many of our politicians do. It’s the system that stinks, allowing MPs to line their pockets this way, particularly at a time when tens of thousands of decent people in this country are struggling to pay their mortgage and food bills and keep their jobs.

*My heroine of the week was the magnificent Joanna Lumley for refusing to take “No” for an answer from Gordon Brown and Phil Woolas over the Gurkhas. Could anyone else have got done it? Maybe Dawn French.

There are so many disadvantaged groups in desperate need of a fearless figurehead with clout, political acumen, nerves of steel and is loved by the media to help them win their battles too. One that springs to mind is the elderly suffering from dementia and Alzheimer’s and caring for their needs.

That was one heck of a week for May…

*My May is hectic as you can imagine with working on the Euro election campaign. I barely manage to get to the gym, practise my clarinet (my lessons are on hold until after 4th June) or spend time in my garden, let alone blogging. But I’m heading out now for dinner with friends, and I know it will be fantastic because Pete is a professional chef. He is the sort of guy who opens your near-empty fridge and can cook a feast from a few odds and ends. And we have promised ourselves an early evening walk too. I’m off now…


  1. Great post, Ellee. Yes, the elderly and those suffering from dementia-related dideases definitely need a charismatic spokesperson.

  2. Enjoy the walk- you are busy? YEs I know what its like..

    We just heard the news here of one of your Pollies claiming house repayments and he did not even have a mortgage!!

  3. Mrs H

    It is indeed a sad day for politics many people will not vote in the next election or vote for the green party who are such fanatics they are a worry and can only talk on one subject. It will be dire for the country. I agree with you Ellee we do not need auditors the unbelievable rules need changing even down to the ridiculous one where they can claim £20 a day to the tax man for lunches etc the ordinary man in the street can claim £5 a day, why is it one rule for them and another for us? Publish the rules and publish their expenses every year and the money saved on auditors should go to the NHS.

  4. I actually think MPs should regulate themselves more by publishing their accounts each year, or making them available for public scrutiny. That would make them think twice about claims. But I do believe rules need tightening up to make them more relevant to the world we live in today. I don’t think we need outside auditors.

  5. I want to know what makes them think they need £900 televisions ~ 2 or more each ~ or even more expensive ones (didn’t one spend £3000 on a single telly?) If I bought a new telly it would be a £150 or £200 one. What gives these twonks the right to take advantage like that, whether or not they’re within self-imposed “rules”. I truly loathe this fucking Government and I really hope Parliament gets dissolved because of all this. Gordon Brown’s far too scared to face the electorate because he knows what will happen when he does. He will have the ignominious fate of being one of very few British PMs never to have been elected to office, even if, like John Major, et al, he did sidle in by the “back door”, as it were… He should have gone for election that autumn just after Blair finally moved over. I recall thinking to myself “why doesn’t he face the electorate now, before he’s had a chance to slip up or do anything bigtime wrong in the office of PM?” ~ then checked myself and told myself that was negative thinking. Turns out I was bang-on correct, though, doesn’t it!

  6. Busy lady, Ellee. Happy mother’s day to you. Well actually I think it is a different day in the UK as I recall. But have a good week anyway.

  7. disaffected

    The ” system ” is of their own making and havent they all ( across the parties ) worked it .
    Now Brown wants to do a ” claim a day “( more likely that would be claim and leave ) in line with all those Euro MEPs .
    Frankly I dont know how you can be happy at being any part of the charade even on the PR front .
    The public has twigged at long last how utterly corrupt the whole system from Westminster to Brussels is , the only way out now is to disolve parliament have a general election and only vote for someone who pledges to act with honour and to take us our of the vile European Union .
    Any one else simply wants to be part of the noses in troughs.

  8. Have a great evening you deserve the break 🙂

  9. Ellee.

    When they thought they were not going to be found out (because the information was held in confidentiality by laws they had created) a significant proportion of them decided to try and milk the system for all they could get. It looks absolutely rotten and now it is all out there they are reaping the whirlwind that they deserve.

    It is sad that they cannot be trusted to do the right thing themselves but they clearly cannot.

    As Anne above points out, the MPs created the system themselves. You cannot separate the “system” from the MPs as the two things are intertwined. OK, so the system is lax and badly drafted and policed but the fact that many MPs repeatedly resubmitted claims for things that clearly go against the spirit (and possibly the letter) of the purpose of expenses and also some of them had a big splurge in March to maximise what they could claim shows that they wanted to get as much as they could out of it.

    The fact that ministers like Hillary Benn and Ed Milliband have such low claims show that the massive claims put in by others are not necessary.

  10. Surely the system was put in place by the MPs…I don’t think that the lack of trust is distasteful, at all, they cannot be trusted and why should they claim for such things as on this list..……

    Oh yes well done to Joanna Lumley..for taking on this and refusing to take NO for an answer, now we need someone like her as an MP!

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