Out on the doorsteps yesterday in Sherwood, several residents expressed their dismay and anger at the fiasco surrounding MPs’ expenses, exposed last week in the Daily Telegraph. One or two Conservative supporters crowed smugly at the mess Gordon Brown and his Labour cronies find themselves in.
But, as I said to them yesterday, don’t be so smug. It’s only a matter of time before the media oncovers a whole other group of Parliamentarians – of all political parties – who have used an outdated and ineffective system to line their pockets.
Sure enough, we now find the Sunday Telegraph reporting that John Gummer MP has used public money to pay for removing moles at his country estate. And over the next few days, wait and see the ever more shocking tales of abuse of priviledge from all sides.
Hazel Blears, who appears to have used the system to evade capital gains tax by switching the definition of ‘primary residence’ between a house in Salford and tow flats in London. Questioned yesterday Ms Blears said “I understand why the public hates this. The system is wrong.”
But if you felt the system was wrong, and understood why the public hated it, Ms Blears, why did you show such utter contempt for taxpayers by using that very system for your own ends?