“Checked, verified and determined against strict accounting procedures by the House of Commons.”

I have to say that generally, I am sympathetic to the politicians under fire at the moment over the MPs expense row. And, if it wasn’t started by Tory central office it has been fanned by the flames of indignation of the right. Sinn Fein, who I will come back to in a later post, is claiming it hasn’t been allowed to claim what it feels it is entitled to, and hasn’t claimed food (like the Robinsons). Peter Robinson claims today that he backs reforms to the system that is not fit for purpose, at least under the unremitting glare of the public gaze. But, five years ago, he was of a different mind when his and Iris’ housing claims were first disclosed by the Belfast Telegraph:

“All expenses claimed by Iris and myself are used to further our constituency offices and parliamentary duties and are checked, verified and determined against strict accounting procedures by the House of Commons.” [Emphasis added

Five years ago, that was a valid assumption for those of us outside the loop… How the weather has changed…

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty