Saturday, May 09, 2009

Double Standards - Do as I say not as I do!

Ever since I became interested in politics around 35 years ago, MP’s of all parties in the UK have come out with public criticisms of ordinary people they call such names as 'benefit scroungers.'

There have been derogatory comments by MP’s about ordinary people who ‘abuse’ the social security system.

There have been criticisms by MP's of people from overseas allegedly claiming benefits without legitimate cause.

It has always seemed to me the poor and most vulnerable in our society are often the victims of personal insults by these privileged people we are supposed to look up to for leadership. Well …… Now the chickens have come home to roost in a big way.

Thanks to Freedom of Information regulations we – the public – are now allowed to discover absolutely scandalous stories of our elected MP’s claiming all sorts of expenses that are apparently allowed within 'regulations' but are reprehensible by most ordinary people’s moral standards.

Click here for details of the BBC Report

Thank God the media have their teeth into this.

We have seen MP’s scurrying around all day trying to avoid questions and those brave enough to speak to the media are coming out with statements like ‘I claimed these expenses within regulations'

How the hell can we look to our MP’s for inspiration when they have such appalling double standards?

They criticise the poor and vulnerable whilst at the same time they help themselves from the public pot of money apparently with no sense of remorse – or even awareness - that they have done anything morally challenging!

Sorry - I no longer have faith in politicians of any party.

They really couldn't make this stuff up!


Dan Gunter said...

Problem not limited to the U.K., my friend. It's more "universal" than health care coverage is ever likely to be.

David Wike said...

Trevor, if you find that your MP has been ‘scrounging’, I assume that you won’t be voting for him/her at the next election, even if said person is a Labour party member?

Interesting how many MPs, including some cabinet ministers, discovered ‘mistakes’ in their claims and repaid the money … once they realised that the information was to be published.

Thank goodness they didn’t realise what they were doing when they passed the Freedom Of Information Act! Another piece of legislation to have unintended consequences. For the better in this case.

Perhaps we should get rid of the lot of them and Make It Up As We Go Along.

Trevor Gay said...

Dan - like it. Sad though - no wonder people are so cynical about politics. These people are supposed to be our role models.

Trevor Gay said...

David - as I may have mentioned to you recently I have change my mind about party politics after a lifetime as a Labour supporter.

I am now completely disillusioned with Labour and very sad about the abject failure of Gordon Brown as a leader. I like Mr Brown but he is in my opinion the worst leader I can remember in politics

And yes if I discover my MP has been fiddling expenses I will definitely not vote for him regardless of his party.

I would laugh about all this if it were not so serious.

I think the Freedom of Information legislation is excellent - more openness please say I!

As for MIUAUGA - it would work at least as well don't you think?!

Mark JF said...

I fear it's politicians from all parties who are embroiled in this and it suggests a political 'elite' who have lost touch with the reality the remaining 59.999 million of us work with every day. My 3 concerns:

1. The gall of politicians who admit to 'errors' in their claims but play the, "I'm a very busy MP" get-out-of-jail free card. If I fiddled my expenses I'd be fired. If I made a mistake with a tax return or a social security claim, I'd be prosecuted. Why are they allowed an, "I'm a busy person" defence?

2. The cowardice of politicians who say, "Everything I did was within the rules but I accept that some others may have 'pushed' the rules and we should revise them." Not one has had the guts to say, "In retrospect, even though it was within the rules, I shouldn't have claimed for that."

3. The hypocrisy of politicians who deny any responsibility for the current economic crisis and blame it all on greedy bankers. Err, so that would be the bankers who operated within the rules this government set but neither enforced nor updated properly. Now we know: the bankers were simply taking their cue from the politicians.

It's institutional corruption from people whose salary starts at over 3 times the national average.

Trevor Gay said...

Thanks Mark – I agree with your brilliant three points. The thing that probably annoys me most is that these people are supposedly setting the example as our leaders - and yet they regularly criticise the most vulnerable in our society for abusing the benefit system!

Dan Gunter said...

Well said, Mark JF. Here in the U.S., they recently passed new legislation making it tougher for people to file bankruptcy. Who passed such legislation? Who else but a government that is spending us into trillion dollar deficits and climbing.

That, is sheer hypocrisy. As defunct as leadership can get -- "You're a bad citizen and should not be allowed a chance to ignore your financial responsibilities. But keep voting us back in office so we can put your children and your children's children in the position to live in a country with leaders who can't manage money."

Get real, people.

Steve said...

i used to work for a guy who admitted 'do as i say, not as i do.' he was one of the worst managers i've ever come across. add to that that he is a californian...a whole story unto was pathetic. yet, he counsels other companies on what they should do. remember 'physican heal thyself?'

Trevor Gay said...

Hi Steve - I rest my case!! - gladly I have not had a boss quite as bad as the one you describe my friend!

Thanks for sharing your story.

Troy Worman said...

Great post. Great comments.

Trevor Gay said...

Cheers Troy - hope you are well :-)