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Roddy Graham's Blog: 4 June 2009 - Expensesgate continues

Date: 04 June 2009

Roddy Graham is chairman of the ICFM and commercial director of Leasedrive Velo

All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others. Sound familiar? That most famous Orwellian quotation could be equally applied to all those fat pigs eating from the 'expenses' trough at Westminster. 'Expensesgate' runs and runs and the more you delve into the expenses' accounts of MPs, the more horrified you become.

It started with porn rental videos claimed for by the Home Secretary and quickly degenerated into far worse with Conservative gentry claiming for moat cleaning, horse manure and duck pond islands. Indeed there have been some quite outrageous claims including a £1 charity donation, wreaths for Remembrance Sunday, £8500 B&O television sets and iPods.

At a time of economic constraint and belt-tightening the pigs at the trough claimed a total of £92,993,748, an average of £143,953 each in expenses, over double the average salary of an MP at £63,291. Among the 646 elected members of Parliament, some have now fallen on their sword, some have tried vainly fighting back to eventually succumb to the inevitable conclusion that they do not stand a 'cat in hell's chance' of seeking re-election and others undoubtedly quake at the prospect of further revelations.

Today, we go to the polls, some of us to vote for our Euro MP, others to vote both for their Euro MP and local councilors. Let the ballot box be the first public statement of our total dissatisfaction with the fat pigs eating from the trough. All animals are equal but some are more equal than others. That will always hold true but neither we, the general public, nor good old honest MPs (yes, there are still a few) like to be taken for a ride.