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Entitlements — Why Now?
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The BBC has a short interview with an MP caught up in the expenses problem

Conservative MP Anthony Steen, who has announced he will not be standing at the next election, has said that his critics are “jealous” because he has a “very, very large house”.

In the interview he asks “What right does the public have to interfere with my private life?”

Apparently, spending £87,000 [$ 138,108] to support that life for the last four years isn’t sufficient cause for Mr. Steen.

Even though Mr. Steen later apologized for what he said, the leader of his party has threatened dire consequences if Mr. Steen isn’t more judicious in his comments.

Jams O’Donnell was also annoyed with Mr. Steen.

MPs from all of the parties were involved in rather questionable expenses, but Mr. Steen is something of a lightning rod because of his serious case of “attitude” and entitlement. He apparently couldn’t honestly understand why people were upset about being told their tax dollars were being spent to protect his shrubbery from rabbits.

These are the sort of “entitlements” that I think we can all agree need to be eliminated.


1 jams O'Donnell { 05.24.09 at 1:01 pm }

If Steeen had decided to soldier on and stand again next year, I get the feling that his constituents would dump him with extreme prejudice. MPs incur a lot of legitimate expenses in the course of their duties and a lot are quite entitlled to have second homes in London (not my MP though… I live about 16 miles from Parliament, have good connections to the centre of London, so that idiot can get the tube and train and be home in a bit over an hour instead_)

The expensies claimed by some MPs have been close to fraudulent, if not downright illegal. The European and local elections will see a backlash against the main parties . What I fear is that this will lead to vermin like the BNP getting seats in the European parliament

jams O’Donnell´s last blog post..Photo Hunt – Plastic

2 Bryan { 05.24.09 at 1:15 pm }

I assume that this was implemented to make it possible for MPs from the outlying regions to get a place to live near Parliament that would make it possible for people of limited means to become MPs. Obviously people decided to “game” the system.

I notice that the church leaders are sharing your concerns about backlash, and possible benefits derived from it by the fringe parties, like the BNP.

It is to be hoped that the major parties start policing their own, but I hope this doesn’t mean that help won’t be available for rural MPs who need a flat in London to serve.

Maybe there should be barracks built for out-of-town MPs, to the same standards that lower ranks receive in the Army.