From what I can gather from the information published on MPs expenses, I fear some of our elected representatives have been working the system. OK - they may not have actually broken the letter of the rules .... but some of the claims that seem to have been made clearly fail the "Evening Express" test - would a reasonable person reading this in their evening newspaper, think there was something wrong?

And some of the justifications cited would be laughable if the situation weren't so serious .... if we can't trust MPs to behave properly on the relatively small matter of expenses, how can we expect them to behave properly in their role as legislators?

On Radio 4 this morning Harriet Harman cited the roof-top protest on her house as a reason to keep MPs home addresses secret. But councillors home addresses are public - and we are also not immune from having someone turn up on our doorstep and behave in a threatening manner (as I know from November 2007) - and arguably, we are more vulnerable as the decisions we make are executive decisions that immediately affect people's lives rather than legislative ones that have a less immediate impact.

Routine full disclosure is the only way ... and I do hope that this will induce better behaviour, regardless of what the rules say. If you don't want your claim published, don't make the claim!


  1. "if we can't trust MPs to behave properly"

    Your words so i take it you will no longer use your seat to express your views,you will now express the views of the public that elected the party you represented NOT YOU.

    If not surely you are just as bad, yes you maybe haven't claimed, but you have voiced you own opinion and used your seat to try to strong-arm overwhelming support for a project.

  2. Neil,

    I have let you have your say but I am unlikely to accept further postings from you on the subject of my actions associated with the Menie development.

    Opinion on the Menie development remains divided: I personally have never claimed majority support and certainly not the 93% levels claimed by the Trump Organisation - the basis for which has not been published.

    In my experience, it's hard to get overwhelming support for anything.


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