All these parasitical bastards in Parliament who have been claiming for hundreds of thousands of pounds for things that should be paid for by their salary are all coming up with the same defence.
Geoff Hoon: He said officials told him it was within the rules and similar claims had been made by previous ministers.
Hazel Blears: A spokesman for Ms Blears said her claims were all within parliamentary rules and approved by the Fees Office.
Peter Mandelson: “The fact is that these allowances would not have been paid if they weren’t within the rules,”
Paul Murphy: All his claims were within the rules and “assiduously” checked by the authorities.
So they all use the excuse it was within the rules. Which is generally the defence used by politicians when they know that they’ve done something wrong and are looking for a technicality to get away with it.
Because for all that it is legal, it is also clearly wrong that “public servants” on over a hundred thousand pounds a year should be claiming from the public purse for their living expenses. And I hope that each and every one of them is beaten at the ballot box with it.
As for Mr Mandelson’s claim that it’s all a smear campaign, I think that he’s missing something. For a man so expert at smearing opponents, he’s made an elementary mistake.
To smear someone, you focus on the distasteful or you put them in with a distasteful group. These stories are merely pointing out the activities of our political masters, and putting them in a group with themselves. So he’s complaining that either they, or their activities, are in and of themselves distasteful.
I’d agree with that, but I didn’t expect to hear Peter Mandelson saying it…