I noted here six days ago that MPs (who earn between 4 and 7 times the national average wage) reckon that if they don’t get a £10,000 pay rise they will be forced to fiddle their expenses again. But of course I got my sums wrong. It is even worse that I first thought.
For we learned at the weekend that 150 of the Westminster swine are claiming £50 a week for transport costs for their kids. That is deemed a legitimate expense. £2,500 a year tax free – that is worth £4,500 as a higher rate taxpayer. How many other "little" fittles like that are there which are all 100% legit under rules created by the MPs themselves? One suspects quite a few. And it all adds up.
As a bonus we also discovered that speaker John Bercow managed to claim £84 travel expenses for a journey of exactly one mile. Ironically it was a journey to visit the body set up to oversee MP’s expenses.
The political classes are right now thrashing about in a row about how Labour is bankrolled by Unite and the seeming corruption within Unite designed to fix election meetings. I do not give a damn about this. Or about the various corporates and dodgy hedge fund managers who bankroll the Tories. The real issue is that the entire political class is venal, corrupt and out of touch.
The battle is not between Labour and Tory or between Call Me Dave and Miliband. It really makes no difference who is in charge. Both accept the ultimate supremacy of the Evil Empire, pander to the moral sensibilities of a metropolitan elite and are happy to see the deficit remain out of control as Britain goes bankrupt every more quickly.
The battle is between the political classes who are robbing the citizenry, making Airstrip One ever less free while feathering their own nests and the rest of us.
Every time a new expenses scandal emerges or there is another episode of beltway sleaze newspaper columnists (part of the political media beltway class and inveterate expense fiddlers themselves) write “they still don’t get it do they?” Er… they never got it and they never will and any pre-election suggestion otherwise is mere pretence.