Friday, May 08, 2009

Role models

To be quite frank, I'm utterly bored with the various rows over MPs expenses. It's not that I don't think what they are doing is morally wrong if not necessarily illegal - it's just that I don't understand why anyone is in the least bit surprised by it.

In the grand scheme of things, an MP claiming for a bath plug or a bit of seedy porn isn't going to bankrupt the nation - but what might do is the fact that the same sort of thing is happening on a much larger scale in our public services and welfare system.

Of course there are probably true instances of fraud amongst the MPs just as there are really people cheating the benefits system and council workers ripping off the council, but for the most part those in the system are just playing the system - just like the MPs.

And just like the MPs, they use the same defence. They insist (often quite rightly) they are not breaking any rules or claiming anything they are not entitled to. Just as an MP doesn't feel the need to buy their own TV when they can get one quite legally for nothing, many people don't feel the need to get out of bed and do a job of work when they can get money, housing and all sorts for sitting around watching TV.

It's the prevailing culture of our times.


bogus said...

its the seemingly small things which sometimes tip the scales & clinch it though, Stan.
You know, like Al Capone and his tax dodges.

Stan said...

Don't geet me wrong, bogus - it's quite right that they should be held to account for their misuse of public funds ...... just that they aren't doing anything that hundreds of thousands or maybe even millions of people are doing all over the country.

I know it's just anecdotal, but I know of a guy - off work through "depression" - who was given a £250 grant so he could buy a suit for an interview. £250!!!! For a suit!!! You can buy one from ASDA for £40 or a half decent one from M&S for £150.

And he never even bought a suit - just a new pair of branded trainers and pissed the rest up the wall.