topping up your own already generous packet

Politics I've been enjoying the ongoing scandal about MPs expenses. It's a perfect opportunity to continue one of my favourite hobbies of shouting at the radio as elected representative after elected representative gives a statement in which they're entirely oblivious as to why we're pissed off with them.

Typical example, Cheryl Gillan, MP for the Chalfonts, Chesham and Amersham:
"The boiler broke down in the flat which I use exclusively for overnight stays when I am working on parliamentary business. In order for me to have central heating and hot water a plumber repaired the boiler. This is within the rules."
As though this is a legitimate excuse. It's unfair to single you out, but you and your colleagues have used tax payer money to pay for things which the rest of us have to fund from our own salary, effectively topping up your own already generous packet.

Here, we pay a maintenance allowance so that when our boiler packs in we can have someone visit with their apprentice (always two there are) and hit it or press a button or whatever they do. We don't then put the receipt in wherever we work and claim it on expenses. Where I work, I can't claim anything on expenses. Perhaps next time I should send it to one of these MPs, since they seem very pleased to use our money in the same way.

This parliamentary reputational clusterfuck spins onward at Google News. I don't remember a scandal like this having happened before which has effectively halted the business of government for days. That bit I'm not enjoying. The problem is that as the MPs constantly repeat that what they did was within the rules, then in the next breath say that the rules should be changed, the more desperate they seem and even less like the kinds of people you'd want running a country with our problems. Infighting has broken out now which only increases my feeling of hopelessness.

We've not heard about the Lib Dems yet. I'm not looking forward to that.

Update: Having followed this increasingly confusing story for a bit longer I'm now wondering if it was wrong for Cheryl Gillan, MP for the Chalfonts, Chesham and Amersham to claim for the boiler repair on expenses. If these are the 'digs' she has to have in London away from her proper home in her constituency and the rules did state that is was ok to claim for that on her expenses it doesn't seem that much different to a student having a maintenance grant for their college accommodation (well, before they were largely abolished). But at this point I really don't know. Which is why I try to never write about politics.

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