FAO: MPs who respond to the flak about expenses by saying it was in the rules

Shut up.

But it was in the rules. It isn’t the fault of MPs it is the fault of the system.

Again, shut up.

But how can it be my fault if I was allowed to claim £xxxx on this?

Jesus wept, do you need this explaining to you?

Go on then…

Gladly.

I have no problem with MPs claiming expenses, at all. I don’t think many people would begrudge MPs who live far away some way of claiming expenses when on business in Westminster. That I can understand.

So why are you claiming on moat upkeep, kit kat chunkies and mortgages that don’t exist?

Because the system lets us do tha….

The system? Oh f*ck off will you? You damn well know that some of the claims are not directly helping your parliamentary business, which is what the allowance system should do. The system doesn’t claim on your behalf, it is YOU that do the claiming, sign the forms etc.

Yes, the system stinks. The only thing smelling any worse at the minute is the fact that you are milking that inanimate system, then have the cheek to deflect all blame to it.

I must say, it is quite surreal watching you all make frivilous apologies. It is akin to watching someone who has been taking a few quid from the supermarket till he works on every week get busted. It might feel a bit uncomfortable at first, but after a while it becomes second nature. ‘Need twenty quid for some shopping, I’ll get it out of here, balance the tills. It isn’t much, no one will notice, no one needs to know.’.

Eventually, the situation snowballs until your manager confronts you about it, saying they’re down on profit. Saying the current economic situation means they will have to cut hours. Saying that they have found out you have taken thousands of pounds from them over a few months/years. Saying that they think it might be best if you payback and/or go.

And then the realisation happens. The realisation that, what you have been doing is not down to the system of having access to ready cash, but down to you taking the money offered when it wasn’t yours by right. An overwhelming sense of regret, guilt and shame overcomes you, and you look back on what you did trying to hold back the tears. You say you’re sorry over and over, and by all accounts you probably mean it – I mean, you’re not a terrible person. You work hard enough, do your job well and seem a decent bloke. But how can I ever trust you again with the money? In your case, the taxpayers money? I just can’t.

I’m afraid, we’ll have to let you go.

But what if the system changes?

Oh just go away will you?

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