I would be taking a very serious exception to Brown’s broad brush. Not only would I take it as a personal slight, I would object to the fact that he is telling the world, whether truthfully, or making a general statement, that I, and the rest of my colleagues are thieves.
When I was young we knew nothing of millionaires, they were so rare. We respected what we then referred to as ‘our betters’, the doctor, the clergy, the Lord of The Manor, our MP, and even our Councillor. They were rarely taken to task by the press, and we were too preoccupied with our own living to take much notice of what they were doing. I still believe that the average person is honest, truthful, and trustworthy, and for this reason I believe that the great majority of MPs are behaving with probity. Brown, by his sweeping changes, is telling me I’m stupid. I have a mantra that says ‘if it ain’t bust don’t fix it’, and if the system or expenses in Parliament has being alright up to two years ago, and the press in an urge to increase sales has recently done some serious digging, and exposed a few miscreants, I feel it is totally unfair to tar so many with the same brush.
I know nothing about the inner workings of Parliament, but from the outside it seems to me that a fairly large proportion of MPs, who are expected by their electorate to be dedicated and attend Parliament on a regular basis, will require a second accommodation in easy reach of Westminster, and the differential in expenses between members will be proportionate to their travelling expenses, if a sensible cap is placed on the cost of a second home. I can’t see what the fuss is about in general terms, and I object strongly to our country being held up to ridicule across the world, yet again. This whole business is like so many other problems, like football hooliganism, where the majority are painted with the broad brush of censure, because of a few. This government treats so much in this manner, without due care and attention, because, in my view, they’re dancing to the tune of the correspondent, they are trying to distance themselves, because of electioneering considerations, rather than necessity. If you really want to castigate the expenses of a governing body, the place to start is in the EU, where waste seems to be endemic.