Sunday, May 10, 2009

Stopping the gravy train

We paid peanuts, we got monkeys. Sly, artful and self-serving monkeys, perhaps, but monkeys all the same. The current furore of MPs expenses - however its exposure has been motivated - has reminded us of the challenges of being ruled by a cabal of small-minded jobsworth with no experience of anything other than being cogs in bigger machines, that religiously claim their expenses.

This comes about because of a stupid decision made a long time ago to avoid the embarrassment of increasing MPs salaries to match those of (allegedly!!) similarly skilled and responsible jobs - so that MPs get paid substantially less than a huge number of relatively trivial local council managers. Instead, a less politically sensitive way to bolster the earnings was devised to provide a "generous range" of "expenses allowances", as we all now know. The relentless exposure of this crass exploitation of loopholes sets a useful example to Labour's new regions of high rate tax victims looking for way to avoid paying all but the barest minimum for Labour's mismanagement.

It's a pity that this pathetic Labour junta has pretty much confirmed the jaundiced view of the electorate that they aren't worth even minimum wage, but something needs to be done fast to try and restore some respect to our leaders who are an unprecedented laughing stock and devoid of all respect at a crucial time like this. After the demise of the Tories in 1997 over the issue of handful of comparatively minor exposes of political sleaze, there will be quite a few deposed Conservatives looking up how to spell "schadenfreude".

There is much to be said for MPs who do not need the money and for whom politics is not a tempting gravy train for the otherwise unemployable, but a genuine opportunity for public service - and something that you get into only after you have some obtained some experience of how the world works in the real world of real wealth creating employment.

And there is NOTHING in any form of education that comes close to the experience gained from employing and managing people who are spending YOUR money.

Apart from nannies and cleaners, what experience do any Labour Ministers have of such a crucial element of the way the world works? Bugger all, we suspect, judging by their chronic nativity and reliably appalling judgement. Something we suspect that they have in common with Labour's assorted BBC and Guardian flag bearers who simply have no experience of life outside the UK's publicly funded soft-left media and luvvie bubble. (TMP would point out that the Guardian seems to be largely funded from advertising public sector jobs ands services...)

Although anything has to be better than Broon's pantomime administration, the Tories are not what they once were. Mrs T. was possibly as effective as she was because she plainly didn't need the money like the present collection of simian ministers all seem to. Far be it from TMP to imply that she was a kept woman, but her husband Dennis was not short of a few bob, and the need to pay the mortgage was never going to cloud her judgement.

Tory spokesman Dr Liam Fox speaking on BBC TV said it would be a pity if only the "independently wealthy" were able to afford to take part in politics. But after 11 years of rule by the independently poor, could it be any worse?

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