Today was the deadline for Tory MPs to hand in their expenses to be published for the great unwashed to paw over and gawk at. It's a new regime of openness, but not everyone has handed in their homework, seven Tory MPs in all are AWOL.
- Sir Paul Beresford doesn't claim expenses, which makes him a kind of cheap, economy brand MP. Doesn't actually *do* anything - but doesn't actively rip off the public either.
- Unlike Ann and Nicholas Winterton who are corrupt as fuck so decided they'd rather not hand in the accounts.
- Bill Cash just has not had time. He really, really will get round to it you know.
- Anthony Steen - who? Doesn't like sneaks.
- Christopher Chope - who? Nick-named "Chopper" Chope for his pioneering work in privatising council housing. Given the OBE for services rendered. His wikipedia entry contains this bizarre sentance "A devout Christian, he has expressed views favouring capital punishment, although only in extreme circumstances."
- John Stanley - who? PPS to Thatcher pre-79.
I had a flick through but I think it would take someone who knew the Tories rather better than I do to find any scandals here, I'm sure Labour's hacks are beavering away on this as we speak - although I do find it uncomfortable when I see MPs giving their wives pay outs of between thirty and forty thousand pounds a year.
Let's turn MPs into the line-managers of their offices, but have expenses and salaries paid for by the Commons itself. We could then stop all this nonsense where people get confused by how many stamps an MP is using and probably improve the employment rights of the staff at the same time.