After days of criticism of MPs, it’s time to give a hand to those who did not abuse the second home allowance. That’s not to say they might not have written off other expenses, but at least they are spared this humiliation. Let’s hear it for: Martin Salter, Celia Barlow, Geoffrey Robinson, Kelvin Hopkins, Fiona McTaggart, Alan Williams, Jon Trickett, Ed Miliband, Adam Afriyie, Richard Benyon, Philip Dunne, Anne Milton, Rob Wilson, Anne Widdecombe, David Howarth, Vince Cable, Ed Davey, Susan Kramer, Sarah Teather, Tom Brake, Paul Burstow and Lynne Featherstone.
Meanwhile, Mr. Andrew Mackay has resigned his post after his expense claims were declared “unacceptable”. He may or may not believe it was, but Mr. Cameron does. Therefore, Mr. Mackay is no longer Mr. Cameron’s aide, but the question is, will he pay back the money? He did one honourable thing, but is it because he refuses to face the fact that what he did was morally wrong?
We are all tired of hearing the MPs giving the same excuses for their “mistakes” and for “staying within the rules”. Some have rushed to pay back the money in order to declare that they did the right thing, or that they just now discovered the error. Yeah, right, we believe that. It does not take a genius to see that the reason any of these MPs suddenly discovered the “right” thing to do was because they were exposed. Now, I’m not saying that all the named MPs were guilty of serious infractions. Some were just pettiness on the part of the Telegraph. It’s the principle that has been called into question.
Of the guilty, who have managed to salvage their reputations and who still reek of scandal? Opinions will vary, but I find Mr. Andrew George’s arrogance and smugness at the top of my “Reeker” list. In addition to not giving a very clear reason for his expense claims, he goes on to talk about how everyone else is doing it, and then demanding an apology from the paper. Mr. Morley’s story doesn’t wash well, either. It’s no surprise he’s been suspended.
Whilst Martin Salter may not have claimed anything since 2001, when details were first published, between 1997 and 2001 he claimed £1,000 a month for a flat he publicly said he did not, and would not, have. He went fishing in India with a solicitor acquaintance from down-town, Mike Robinson, and bragged to him and others about the source of finance for the trip.(It’s nice to, almost, get a quote from ‘A Street car Named Desire’ into a post.)