In the print edition of the Daily Telegraph, Robert Winnett, Deputy Political Editor, writes about Brian Binley and Anne Mann. The article, unfortunately, does not seem available on-line, hence no link can be provided.
In this article he quotes David Cameron saying "I want to make very clear that the fact that MPs have chosen to make repayments does not indicate guilt or a breach of the rules." Whilst his actions showed a touch of leadership, the central complaint remains that some of his colleagues would appear to have been more lightly 'punished' than others.
Unfortunately his remark, in my opinion, shows that Cameron, to use a now popular phrase, 'still does not get it'. If expenses are to be incurred 'wholly and exclusively' to enable an MP to carry out his duties, then any - and I repeat any - claim in connection with his second home other than rent/mortgage/utility bills is not acceptable, whether this be for food, furniture, furnishings or gardening. As such I consider that most MPs have abused the present system and are, therefore, guilty of mis-use of public funds.
If Cameron can be held 'not to get it' then so can Gordon Brown as, in the same article, he is quoted as having said that the expenses scandal had left the public image of politicians as badly tarnished as that of bankers. No, Gordon - the expenses scandal is but a minor cause of the anger, expressed by the public, toward politicians. Far more important is politicians disregard for the views of the public, witness the majority wanting a referendum on Britain's membership of the European Union and being denied, as but one example.
Until the 'political elite' realise that a complete overhaul of our democracy is necessary they will always be regarded as a class apart and 'distant' from the electorate, the latter who after all are not only their paymaster but also their 'board of directors'.
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