So you will recall that I have been running a rolling list of MPs who are not fit for office. The last version is here.
Well, in light of the forthcoming July receipt publication and, more specifically, The Daily Telegraph's revelations, I simply cannot keep up with all the outrageous behaviour of our illustrious representatives. In fact, I hereby scrap MP Watch and am starting a new scheme:
Find An MP Who Is Not On The Make And Therefore Deserves Re-Election Watch.
All nominations by comment or to firstname.lastname@example.org.
More seriously, for all the revelations, for all the Gordy U-Tube nonsense, for all the crass excuses (think Pickles and think Straw yesterday) and for all the lack of ethics and lack of moral authority ("but it's in the rules"), here are the simple rules that need to be applied:
1. There seems to me to be nothing wrong with the rules I suggested some time ago here. In summary:
a. Cull the number of politicians as we have way too many.
b. Being an MP is a part-time job. Remunerate it as such.
c. Keep the salary as it is.
d. Reduce the secretarial allowance.
e. Do not pay MPs to start a property portfolio. Give them a per diem for any night they have to spend in London. (All this spin about "paying MPs' to turn up", generated by MPs note, is just a smokescreen because MPs do not like this concept as they would take a pay cut).
f. Receipts for everything over £10
g. Annual audits of all MPs expenses by the NAO.
2. MPs need to accept, particularly at this time, that they have got away with being massively overpaid in expenses and pensions etc, and that they now need to take a massive cut. Lead from the front guys.
3. As I have said many times here before, foxes cannot be in charge of the chicken coup. So MPs' remuneration in all its forms needs to be taken away from MPs and handed to an independent body.
4. Any scheme needs to be absolutely transparent, published in full annually and aggressively regulated with a simple punishment if you get it wrong: immediate removal from office and an immediate by-election. Trust me, there would be no fiddling then.
Oh and all this fake outrage at a media exclusive and money being paid for the leak and the police being called in etc, P-L-E-A-S-E. These fuckers have been on the make, been caught, tried to stop the taxpayer finding out, gone to court to try to overturn a decision against their exposure and are only now, belatedly and begrudgingly, releasing some not all of the information.