Recently, there’s been much coverage in the Spanish press about the high level of corruption cases here involving members of both mainstream political parties, each hurling accusations at the other. Well, glasshouses and stones come to mind and, hopefully, British politicians will be the last to throw anything – in light of the latest shenanigans in Westminster.
First off, there’s the musical chairs scenario of who’ll finally end up as chair of the historical child abuse inquiry, with both Baroness Butler-Sloss and Fiona Woolf forced to resign over their too-close-for-comfort links to the ‘Establishment’. Really, is now impossible in the UK to find even one person to head an inquiry who isn’t a member of the great and the good?
Next, the news that records of MPs’ expenses from before 2010 have been shredded. Members of the public who contacted the parliamentary standards commissioner to question their MP’s expenditure have been informed there can be no investigation because of a lack of evidence.
So, what if an MP doesn’t want questions asked about their expenses? Under the current ‘rules’, all they have to do is dither, ‘misplace’ letters, foot-drag and generally spin things out until three years have passed. All above board in a democracy, then whoosh! All the records vanish! Magic!
Now, any decent company with this number of claimants would have a system set up requiring expenses claims to be saved as pdfs together with copies of receipts and kept for six years for tax purposes. In this case, maybe MPs believe themselves to be above the law or that it doesn’t apply to them – no surprise there, then. Or, maybe space is needed for yet more expenses scandals?
I’m sure there are some decent, upright politicians, but it’s becoming increasingly hard to imagine why anyone still has faith in them when they seem so busy looking out for themselves. Why, if there’s nothing to hide was it necessary to shred these documents with such haste? Nobody else could ever get away with it.
And yet we have politicians still in post who fiddled their expenses! Disillusionment with politics and politicians now runs so deep it defies belief. In exasperation, you could end up supporting clowns like Russell Brand. Well, maybe not Russell Brand …
Nora Johnson’s thrillers ‘Landscape of Lies’, ‘Retribution’, ‘Soul Stealer’, ‘The De Clerambault Code’ (www.nora-johnson.com) availablefrom Amazon in paperback/eBook (€0.89;£0.79) and iBookstore. Profits to Cudeca