Still in denial

You have to remember that political commentators are closer to politicians than they are to the public. Most knew that something stank in the MPs’ allowances system. Some feel guilty that they didn’t probe the expenses scam sooner. Others will make excuses. Pro-Tory Bruce Anderson pleads for main party unity to reform the system. Mike White in the Guardian makes a pretty thin case in arguing that the Telegraph favoured the Conservatives by exposing Labour first. Columnist Jackie Ashley thrashes about fantasising that Gordon Brown might call an early election, or else make way for Alan Johnson or whoever after the expected debacle in the Euro-poll next month.

All however can unite with relief to damn today’s Commons plan to contract out a new expenses audit to an outside company, thereby skirting Freedom of Information and restoring secrecy. Cock up or conspiracy? The former, I think but take your pick. Meanwhile, although White argues (wrongly I think) that the Sinn Fein story was cast as a distraction from Tory scams, he also adds :

Ian Paisley’s employment of his extended DUP family, Peter and Iris Robinson’s generous arrangements, have yet to get the treatment.

But the extended family isn’t part of the disclosures. It’s another theme entirely – the ability to create a political dynasty.
Adds Did Gordon Brown wait for three days to say “sorry” out of his usual stubborness? Apparently not, (see below the fold) . It seems he was waiting for a clear account of Cleanergate to come from his sister-in-law, to avoid any impression that he personally has anything to be sorry for. It was Clare who had the thankless task of looking after the London detritus of his former life as a batchelor. Clare, wife of brother Andrew, brings the story up to date in Guardian.

Despite a full Downing Street statement the night before, Andrew was woken up just after 6am on Friday by the doorbell. Within seconds an unannounced person was up the stairs of our building and banging on the door of our flat, demanding answers to questions. Being that he was just in his boxer shorts Andrew didn’t open the door (believe me, the world should be grateful).

Then Brown said sorry – sort of – but Downing St added he was “satisfied” with ministers’ explanations. Isn’t he easy pleased?

  • Barnshee

    thieves charlatans crooks -all

  • Brian, how does it skirt an FoI request? Surely the documentation belongs to the authorities irrespective of who does the work.

  • Gabriel

    Johnson is ideal for labour as he screwed up the post office union when he was in charge.

  • Dec

    The former, I think but take your pick. Meanwhile, although White argues (wrongly I think) that the Sinn Fein story was cast as a distraction from Tory scams

    Why wrongly? Or you seriously telling us that the(deliberately misleading btw) Sunday Telegraph lead story yesterday didn’t strike you as odd?

    Ian Paisley’s employment of hiIs extended DUP family, Peter and Iris Robinson’s generous arrangements, have yet to get the treatment.

    But the extended family isn’t part of the disclosures. It’s another theme entirely – the ability to create a political dynasty.

    Peter and Iris Robinson’s mutual trough-filling arrangements (shared by other married MPs) are at the heart of this story.

    btw the Mike White link requires adjustment

  • Neil

    Have to fall in with Dec there, as stated on another thread 5 Shinners over 5 years collecting just over 300k equals 1,000 per month per Shinner. Scandalous. Now, assuming each of the five were entitled to claim, then surely each of the five could have averaged out considerably higher the a grand each/month if sticking the knife in were the idea. Further to that they don’t own the houses personally, unlike say some Tory MPs who will sell the houses and keep the profits (including capital; gains which they don’t have to pay).

    So how fucking dull is that. Them Shinners taking a whole thousand pounds a month each. Wow. The flip side, as I feel will become very apparant very soon, is that certain Loyalist politicians have gotten very wealthy off their working class brethern’s suffering. Wait until someone digs out the figures for the Ulster Unionist National Front Third Force and how much they’ll have creamed off properties paid for by the taxpayer, and where that money ended up. But then, it was a different game in the old days. Corruption was a perk but we could afford it.

  • blinding

    There will be no election until the dust settles you can be sure about that.

    The cosy little club that is Westminister will look after its members so there will be no chance of democracy being allowed to hamper the style of the mebers until the last concieveable date.

    Storm Westminster and pry their thieving hands from the publics coffers.

    Sharia law for the thieves of Westminister.

  • blinding

    On an even more important point are politicians of such low calibre the correct people to decide/vote on whether to send young women and young men to war.

  • fin

    I’ll go with Neill and Dec on this aswell, the very big bonus for SF is that several times in recent weeks they got across, in the MSM, the fact that elected SF politicans give the bulk of their salary to the party. I wonder if a journo will pick up on this and challenge others.

  • New Yorker

    What were SF doing in London? Shopping at Harrods?