Wednesday, May 13, 2009

MPs expenses

I've been trying to articulate exactly why I don't care about the MPs expenses row. It could be because of the dry pointlessness of it all (as discussed here by Alex), it could be because of the po-faced hypocrisy (as identified here by Stephen Fry) of the public and media, or it could be that after having written to my MP about this I feel I've already done my civic duty and therefore have no need to be outraged.

But it mainly comes down to my belief that the purpose of a free press is to highlight error in as efficient manner as possible. Going on and on about this dishonorable behaviour on the part of some MPs distracts from more serious dishonour and dishonesty: when Jack Straw used executive privilegeto veto the publication of the Iraq war minutes, where were the days of outraged front-pages?

Parliamentary expenses should be public knowledge as a matter of course. And political error should be highlighted as a matter of course.

My problem with the "MPs expenses row" is that:

1) The media has taken years to respond to this issue.

2) The media does not respond as strongly to undisputably more serious problems.

Update 15/05/2009:

On second thoughts, I agree with Shuggy.

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