When was the last time you considered having your moat cleaned or your tennis court fixed and tried to push it through on an expenses claim? How often does your boss sign off on you building a four thousand dollar home -- for your ducks? The chances are, unless you are a British Member of Parliament, the answer is never, never, never!
Here in England we are facing what many are calling the biggest single threat to democracy in our history. Not on the back of terrorist activity. Not because North Korea seems to have lost the plot, but because our politicians have redefined the words greed and avarice. Out of our six hundred and forty-six national legislators, too many to represent a small sample have been charging us, the tax payer, millions of dollars in ridiculous and disgusting 'extras'.
We have just discovered that some have continued to claim each month for their mortgages - long after the debt has been fully repaid to the bank. Did you get that? We've still been making monthly payments to them to cover their mortgages, even when their mortgages were up. That's fraud.
One senior politician charged us 25,000 dollars to construct a servant's wing in his house. Another spent 35,000 dollars of our money on removing dry rot from a third home, 100 miles away from her constituency. Yet another tried to claim for a huge plasma TV -- cost: 13,000 dollars. I'm pleased to say the authorities actually turned that one down.
And a few days ago, The Speaker of the House was forced to stand down, after it emerged he had fought for this information to be suppressed.
The revelations, which are still emerging, came to us courtesy of a couple of whistle-blowers and a decent piece of cheque-book journalism. The country is staggered, we are in a complete spin and even if there was a general election tomorrow we cannot find a political party that is clean enough to deserve our vote.
Now a populous that has lost faith with its legislators is a real threat to democracy. Frustrated and angry voters are looking to self-serving Independents and dangerous far-right parties to cast their protest votes. We have a big national election for the European Parliament just next week and many Brits will be voting for the evil and downright ignorant. This extraordinary scandal may well end up costing us so much more than simple money.
By Petrie Hosken
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