Does the electorate get the politicians they deserve and if so, what mistakes have we made to be landed with such a woeful crop of petty crooks? There is not one statesman/woman in the whole of Parliament, which by any standards is a pretty poor show

We have finally reached the stage where Parliamentary Privilege and a review on codification of the law on privilege is now well overdue

The time has passed for MP expenses to be overseen by a Parliamentary watchdog (the Independent Standards Commissioner) and the whole process needs to be passed over to the police and courts under the criminal justice system to sort out these crooks

Maria Miller is just the latest in a long line of corrupt MP's who have got away with their actions because of self-regulation. These abuses must now stop! Furthermore, history has always demonstrated that self regulation rarely works successfully and because of its nature is always inherently open to abuse of one sort or another

Perhaps asking the Prime Minister to stand down over this matter would be rather severe, however, bearing in mind his total lack of judgement in this latest episode and the strong feelings about corruption in our elected representatives this option should not be discounted

Let us be clear about this matter, by all recognised standards Maria Miller has been found to be a thief and stolen from the taxpayer

Nevertheless, it is telling that the Commons Standards Committee regarded Maria Millers 'attitude' throughout as far more important than the actual deed of theft. This decision sends out the stunning message that theft by MP's is perfectly acceptable provided you have the right attitude when caught.

Unfortunately, this stance is totally devoid of any 'moral compass' and just shows how removed from reality MP's have become by this crass decision, which subsequently concluded that Maria Miller should repay far less than had been assessed by the Commons Watchdog. So not only can one steal from the taxpayer, it now turns out that one doesn't even need to repay what has been taken - let the good times roll!

Therefore the message is - crime does pay especially if you are an MP, ring fenced from the law of the land and judged by your potentially equally corrupt peers

Quite frankly the country is thoroughly fed up with having an elected 'den of thieves' trying to take as much out of the system as possible with their grubby little paws and getting away with it because of self-regulation. Jail sentences at the very least, should be the order of the day for these people

The real issue is that these practices are so endemic and ingrained in the political physic of entitlement (theft is just a 'perk' of the job) that those involved do not actually believe they are doing anything wrong

As for those supporting Maria Miller, make a note of them and ask yourselves whether they themselves have been doing just the same as Maria Miller because there is a strong probability that they have been at it as well. Furthermore, Mr Cameron really has dropped the ball with this one and those of his ilk need to seriously address their position in all this. Do they condone stealing from ‘The People’ because that is precisely what has occurred and one can be pretty sure this was not in any election manifesto.

Let’s just start off with a few simple rules for MP's

  • any MP who knows or suspects another of any action that in the 'real world' would be regarded as a criminal act, should be duty bound to report the matter; failure to do so should result in a automatic lifetime ban from Parliamentary Office with all accrued benefits to date being withdrawn (i.e. repayment of personal pension contributions and no Parliamentary Pension)
  • any colleagues 'automatically' supporting or seeking to influence and investigation or the outcome are instantly removed from office under the same terms as the previous rule above (i.e. no pension etc.). This includes the Prime Minister and any of his cohorts because although loyalty is to be admired - misplaced loyalty to cover up theft before the outcome of any investigation or directly contrary to the findings, demonstrates a fundamental lack of judgement which is detrimental to the country; as does trying to interfere or influence the outcome. So goodbye .....
  • there should be a transparent 'menu' system for fines if found guilty. Start off with repaying the amount in question and then having a 'de facto' fine of 10 (ten) times that amount as well
  • all/any gains made by an MP by using these schemes (i.e. second homes) belong to the taxpayer - or better still have the country utilise a system of 'digs' similar to Youth Hostels in days gone by and remove the concept of second homes because these are simply a licence to abuse the system

Nevertheless, ultimately MP's should be made subject to the law of the land, without fear or favour, like everyone else and it is about time someone did something about this matter as a matter of urgency

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