Thursday, 30 April 2009

The Home Secretary Should Have Been Dismissed for Abuse of Expenses Provision if Brown Cared So Much for an Instant Response

It is not that expenses for Members of Parliament are an unreasonable proposition in principle. It is that the possibility of claiming expenses has been abused. When an individual abuses their access to a good and are found to have offended the people who make provision for that good, the immediate response is not to consider the provision and its opennesss to abuse, but to accept the resignation of the abuser.

The Home Secretary and others who have been found abusing expenses provision should have resigned, not been supported by the Prime Minister in remaining in their jobs and retaining their ill-gotten gains. Awareness of widespread abuse has been high for many years, so high and for so long that one wonders if there is not some kick-back to the Party from high and unchallenged expense-claiming, as there is in local government where councillors are expected to claim the maximum and then tithe themselves from that, in support of the Party.

Parliament has a cross-party commission investigating expenses which is to make recommendations which will probably enjoy cross-party support, albeit grudging cross-party support. There is no need for Brown to have pre-empted its conclusions or their consideration in Parliament by appearing on You Tube. He was, of course, trying to pretend that the immediate response to scandalous behaviour by the Home Secretary and others of his Party was not resignation or dismissal but an individual, authoritarian, imposed resolution of a generalised problem.

The Conservatives and Liberal Democrats should wholly reject the watered-down attempt to blame everybody and thus ignore individual Labour minister shame and prime ministerial failure to dismiss them, and defeat Brown again in the Commons today.

1 comment:

Nick Drew said...

some kick-back to the Party

almost beyond a doubt -

when I was a humble local councillor (Cons) in the '80s and 90's, our party Group on the Council raised a modest levy on us - and believe me, allowances were tiny then.

It is my clear understanding that, now councillors' allowances run into 5 figures, quite substantial levies are raised (by all parties) - evident in the high quality of campaign leaflets these days.

Given the universality of this practice, how could it not be happening at Parliamentary level also ?