Skip to main content

MPs: if all are guilty, then no one is

What then? Are we better than they? No, in no way.
For we previously charged both Jews and Greeks, that they are all under sin

Romans 3:9

The Legg report on British MPs expenses looks to be a fiasco: by saying that so many MPs are guilty it means that individual culpability is diminished. It lets the most guilty off the hook while also tarring the essentially innocent with the brush of corruption.

A truly terrible result that will undermine faith in British democracy to the point of crisis.


thepoliteer said…
Hi Cisero.

"If all are guilty, then everyone is - to varying degrees" would seem a more appropriate approach. The degree to which they are considered guilty of course depends on whether many Fee Office 'approved' expenditures are retrospectively classified as non-approved. I would suggest that where expenditures have been unreasonable, (and I recognise the difficulty of defining this exactly), they should be. The illegal claims should obviously be treated as such.

I agree, however, that this is going to descend further into black comedy.
Richard T said…
At the risk of being thought cynical, I wonder if this is the point of Legg. By involving all MPs in a retrospective review of what had been passed as reasonable, as you say he has put up a smokescreen whereby the really guilty can retreat under its cover? We can count on the majority of the press concentrating on the trivial and on 'hate figures' like Jacqui Smith and Gordon Brown who have already been through the mill and missing the point as to why rich men like Gideon Osborne and David Cameron sucked at the state's teat to get second houses that they well afford for themselves and in the former case then played the second home game to avoid capital gains tax. Don't even think of their hypocrisy in criticising folk on incapacity benefit as this is a different matter of only claiming their entitlement under the expenses rules. Et voila the guilty escape scrutiny and public disgrace.
Ed Butt said…
I think British politics was already way past the point of crisis. but as Brown is one of the major offenders it will be interesting to see if he survives until Christmas.

Popular posts from this blog

Post Truth and Justice

The past decade has seen the rise of so-called "post truth" politics.  Instead of mere misrepresentation of facts to serve an argument, political figures began to put forward arguments which denied easily provable facts, and then blustered and browbeat those who pointed out the lie.  The political class was able to get away with "post truth" positions because the infrastructure that reported their activity has been suborned directly into the process. In short, the media abandoned long-cherished traditions of objectivity and began a slow slide into undeclared bias and partisanship.  The "fourth estate" was always a key piece of how democratic societies worked, since the press, and later the broadcast media could shape opinion by the way they reported on the political process. As a result there has never been a golden age of objective media, but nevertheless individual reporters acquired better or worse reputations for the quality of their reporting and

We need to talk about UK corruption

After a long hiatus, mostly to do with indolence and partly to do with the general election campaign, I feel compelled to take up the metaphorical pen and make a few comments on where I see the situation of the UK in the aftermath of the "Brexit election". OK, so we lost.  We can blame many reasons, though fundamentally the Conservatives refused to make the mistakes of 2017 and Labour and especially the Liberal Democrats made every mistake that could be made.  Indeed the biggest mistake of all was allowing Johnson to hold the election at all, when another six months would probably have eaten the Conservative Party alive.  It was Jo Swinson's first, but perhaps most critical, mistake to make, and from it came all the others.  The flow of defectors and money persuaded the Liberal Democrat bunker that an election could only be better for the Lib Dems, and as far as votes were concerned, the party did indeed increase its vote by 1.3 million.   BUT, and it really is the bi

Breaking the Brexit logjam

The fundamental problem of Brexit has not been that the UK voted to leave the European Union. The problem has been the fact that the vote was hijacked by ignorant, grandstanding fools who interpreted the vote as a will to sever all and every link between the UK and the European Union. That was then and is now a catastrophic policy. To default to WTO rules, when any member of the WTO could stop that policy was a recipe for the UK to be held hostage by any state with an act to grind against us. A crash out from the EU, without any structure to cope, was an act of recklessness that should disqualify anyone advocating it from any position of power whatsoever. That is now the most likely option because the Conservative leadership, abetted by the cowardly extremism of Corbyn, neither understood the scale of the crisis, now had any vision of how to tackle it. Theresa May is a weak and hapless Prime Minster, and her problems started when she failed to realize that there was a compromise that