Gordo announces the formation of a "body" to look into the calamity surrounding members' expenses. Idiot. He needs Reg and Bill.
The phrase that I am finding particularly offensive when used by these disgraceful and increasingly indefensible and useless tossers is "It was all done within the rules/guidelines". No. Excuse my potty-mouth here, I don't do this very often so you'll have to forgive me as I am upset, who the fuck do you think you are trying to kid? You want us to elect you yet you're now crediting us with no intelligence whatsoever. We've all filed expenses claims at one time or another pal, we know the dodges. Most of our expenses weren't coming out of the public purse though. You therefore deserve all the opprobrium you're getting. Squirm, it's fun. What they really meant to say was "I've looked at the rules and this is what I think they let me get away with". What that actually means is "I really have no sort of conscience whatsoever, am completely devoid of altruism or a moral streak and despite the fact that as a minister I earn over £100,000 per year - that's £2000 per week, 33 times a week more than you, dole scum - I want some more. Where's the trough?" Even more offensive are the bastards bleating about whether any parliamentary rules have been broken by this story being published. What planet do you think we've just arrived from? I am not a violent man but I am wondering whether there is a form of violence that is theoretically defensible in law but would allow me to "legally" cause actual bodily harm to one or several of these oxygen thieves and get away with it.
Back in the very early 80s I worked with a young man called Tim who previously had worked in the office in the House of Commons responsible for paying expenses (The Fees Office). There was never any talk of abuse, so maybe this very public greed is a modern phenomenon. In fact the only observation I can ever remember him making was that whenever Ian Paisley turned up to collect his, he was very polite and there was a visible bulge under his jacket. Tim and I worked for an engineering company in Tottenham Court Road. If we ever had to do anything that incurred expenses, which in my case was quite often, we had to fill out a chit and take it up to Reg to be approved. Every company used to have a Reg, responsible for signing chits. Ours was Reg Austin. Underneath, Reg was actually a very decent chap. He was a cricket fanatic, something I managed to use in my favour a couple of times. His prime function though was to reduce grown men to quivering tearful wrecks. The first few times I ever went up to his office with a chit were fine. We discussed cricket and stuff and I thought I'd softened him up. No, it takes years to soften up a Reg. Reg was also in charge of pencils, rubbers (for the colonials, that's erasers. This was London, not Amsterdam) and Pentel leads (we had a very large drawing office). One day he wasn't in his office but his door was open so I waited. I waited until I could no longer wait so I helped myself from the cabinet. I wasn't thieving, I was going to leave a note on his desk. He came back in before I had a chance, my hand most definitely in the till - or so it seemed. I got the treatment, what they call at Manchester United when you've upset Sir Alex "the hairdryer". I felt like a 5 year-old being told off by his dad and to be honest, I was so upset that I don't know how I managed to keep it together. I hadn't done anything wrong, my intentions were honest and sound but I'd bent the rules to my own needs. Needless to say, I didn't do it again. The strange upshot was that my contrition earned Reg's respect and we were OK after that.
Bill, on the other hand, was even worse, Bill was a smiling assassin. If Andy's reading this, he'll know who I mean. I worked at the world's greatest tolled river crossing in Dartford for 6 years. Although most of the operators there were beyond reproach, it wasn't entirely unknown for the odd unscrupulous chancer to slip through the net and try one on. It was pointless. You knew something was up when you saw Bill walking around with a printout under his arm, grinning inanely and telling excruciatingly bad jokes. Next day, someone's house had been turned over by the Kent Constabulary and there was one less on the payroll. Although he'd never been an operator Bill had worked out the possible scams in advance. He didn't need to set traps, if you conformed to a set pattern, you were probably on the make. Catch him in the mess room in his zip up cardy and glasses and he was about as unassuming a cove as you could get but he was diamond-edged sharp and once he was on the scent there was no escape.
*I'm claiming this for the electricity used while posting this.