16 May 2009


"No question now, what had happened to the faces of the pigs. The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which."- George Orwell, Animal Farm, Ch. 10

The DHSS have paid out many thousands of pounds for a TV ad campaign that has the end slogan "We're Targeting Benefit Fraud". There are dark shadows and slightly threatening music as a spotlight scans our cities, seeking out the cheats and the scroungers. Much as I detest any form of dishonesty, I find this campaign a bit rich in the light of what we now know about busloads of our politicians. Talk about pigs and troughs.

Expenses? Good lord, as a teacher you find that the bureaucracy and form-filling that you are required to do in order to claim legitimate expenses is like an insurmountable barrier so you just don't bother. I drove to Birmingham for a work related course last September and I didn't claim a single penny. Yesterday, a colleague went to a stationery shop in her spare time and bought highlighter pens for her classes with no intention whatsoever of seeking reimbursement.

But our servants in parliament, they have claimed for food bills, shelving units, moat cleaning, designer decoration, mortgages they didn't have, beds, bedding, hanging baskets, first class travel around the world, mock tudor beams, court summonses. The list goes on and on. And greedily they even "flip" first and second homes in order to milk more from the system.

Take our local MP, The Right Dishonourable Nick Clegg, dull as ditch water and leader of the so-called Liberal Democrats. There he is on television, all moralistic and shocked, talking about purging Westminster of its sinners. Yet he is just the same as the rest. Here in Sheffield, at the taxpayers' expense, he hired a gardener to maintain the land around his rarely visited constituency home. £260 a month for four hours work a week. Clegg grunted that he was doing the taxpayer a big favour because it was important for him to maintain the property to a good standard - thereby protecting national interest. What poppycock! Why couldn't he do what the rest of us do - get outside with our lawnmowers, clippers and brushes and if too busy or lazy to do the work then pay for a bloody gardener from your own pocket!

The whole thing is an absolute disgrace. I have voted in every election I could vote in since I turned eighteen... and always Labour - for socialism - or the tantalising idea of socialism - runs through my very bloodstream. But next time? Who is there to vote for? They're all the same. They may begin with good intentions - like the animals of Orwell's farm - but in the end they transmogrify into the very figures they pledged they would never become.


  1. craig1:12 pm

    I agree, Here we have just had the budget announced last week. In it there is an increase for the single aged pensioner of, i think thirty dollars a week and that took a lot of cajolling to get through, yet before the budget it is announced that mp's are to recieve an extra 90 dollars a week. Pigs snouts are in the trough here too

  2. You could always vote for a Conservative.

  3. It's a shame Screaming Lord Sutch is not still around. He'd be a reasonable alternative!

  4. Do you get South Park in the UK? This reminds me of the "Man Bear Pig" episode...he's half man, half bear, and half pig.

  5. Deirdre10:08 am

    Absolutely...and as a woman I have always insisted that every woman should vote (people died in order for us to have the right...) and many years ago I was a card carrying member of the labour party..but no more...they are all the same sauce in different bottles and I am struggling now...My daugher is 18 today and will be voting locally for the first time very soon....how can I answer her questions about voting being important but having no one to vote for? they should all be ashamed of themselves for riding the gravy train for so long and being so two faced....

  6. CRAIG Politicians around the world have a mass superiority complex that makes them actually believe they are worthy of unfettered pay increases and unchecked perks.
    RHYMES I could NEVER vote for a Conservative. They are wolves in sheep's clothing and the slimeball David Cameron is a chiiling prospect for this great country.
    JENNYTA I am thinking of forming my own political party. It will have one simple aim in its manifesto - to establish a three day weekend for all. None of my MPs will be allowed to claim any expenses. You will be my Welsh Secretary and Arthur Clewley will be the Minister of Defence.
    SAM We do get South Park but I have never watched a single episode I'm proud to say.
    DEIRDRE I'm glad I am not alone in my abject despair. I have always scorned the apathetic and promoted the principle of voting.... until now.

  7. Like many I won't ever vote for New Labour ever again.

    It's not just this latest instalment of sleaze but the way they've completely alienated the people the party was conceived to protect and work for the rights of.

    So much so, that those less fortunate in society even consider voting for extremist parties like the BNP.

  8. Just wanted to point out to RWP that the Conservatives are just as involved as Labour in this expenses scandal. My father, the Communist, always insisted that political parties weren't all the same - - but I think that, sadly, the times they are a-changing, and not in a good way.

  9. Is it any surprise that people who base their whole careers around the pursuit power are corrupt?

    I'm hopping on the Scottish Socialist Party bandwagon. . . minibus. . . Ford Fiesta. . . bubble car. . . tandem.

  10. socialism's a nice little earner YP; £18k bookcases on retirement, non existent mortages paid, very existent tax liabilities definitely not paid - they're all crooks, very last one of 'em, along with the civil servants chronies who carry their master's cloaks behnd them and fend off the peasents

  11. Anonymous6:40 pm

    I'm still waiting for someone, anyone, to come up with some decent suggestions as to what recompense MPs should receive. Oh yeah, and then for the shit to hit the fan for Euro MPs.

    But who to vote for? Don't have a clue, for once. Praying here that a general election won't take place for a year, so that hopefully something/ someone worthwhile emerges.


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