It just keeps on coming doesn't it? Moat cleaning. A duck house. Hob nobs. Already paid-off mortgages. Cost of upkeep of a house someone was living in rent free. Husband's porn viewing. A forest.
The busy-ness of our MPs (and bent or not we have to agree that most of them work pretty long hours) left them apparently throwing piles of receipts at the fees office which was then required to sort through and decide which were a valid claim and which not. From time to time errors were discovered and the more honourable members called foul on themselves and refunded them.
What seems to have developed over the years is a system where many things, which fitted the rules, were paid for when a moment's thought would have said that no-one in their right mind could possibly have imagined this expense was incurred wholly and necessarily in carrying out the duties of an MP. Also a practice where, because of the need to live near to the House of Commons for a division, a second home could be claimed for. Except that some 'flipped' which was their second home in order to claim expenses if one residence required more spending on its upkeep than the other.
At least, that is what I understand. The Daily Telegraph has the leaked document that tells us all this but it is so massive that it is taking them some time to get down it. And, of course, to keep selling their paper, they are releasing only one juicy tidbit per day.
Which takes us back to paragraph one. What next? A general election won't solve things yet. We need to be sure all the information is out before voting. How would it be if Cameron got in only for the Telegraph to say, as he takes office, 'Oh by the way he forgot to mention...' We need all those who have been blind to their own corporate short-comings to get out of the business, to fix the system and then have an election. It will be due about then anyway and the country will be coming out of recession so will feel better about itself.
I think this Labour government will be stuffed, blamed as the people who were at the helm when the iceberg was struck. It will be interesting to see how the country responds. I think the list of those who will eventually come through the whole thing with dignity might be quite short. Could Vince Cable, Glenda Jackson and Joanna Lumley form a government?
The Old Testament only ever saw its leaders in black or white. Good king or bad king. Godly or evil? We do well to recall from time to time that, even if we don't really believe it in our hearts, that it is good to live as those who will one day be called to account by someone or thing higher.
Now, where did I put the receipt for those hobnobs?