Matt's Crow Country: Politics at our expense

PUBLISHED: 10:12 12 May 2009 | UPDATED: 16:02 11 May 2010

Cllr Tony Hunter, who claimed no expenses in 2007/08

Cllr Tony Hunter, who claimed no expenses in 2007/08

WHO remembers the, er, classic 1980s film The NeverEnding Story? I haven t seen it for a few years, but from what I can recall it is a dull affair, featuring a little boy aimlessly flying around on a ridiculous, fluffy, dragon. As far as I know there ha

WHO remembers the, er, classic 1980s film The NeverEnding Story?

I haven't seen it for a few years, but from what I can recall it is a dull affair, featuring a little boy aimlessly flying around on a ridiculous, fluffy, dragon.

As far as I know there haven't been any fluffy dragons spotted at Westminster recently, but the saga surrounding MPs expenses is certainly dull, and shows no sign of ever ending.

The latest batch of shameful revelations reveal that our elected representatives (including South Cambridgeshire's very own Andrew Lansley) have been bending rules all over the place, and making taxpayers foot the bill for such necessities as fixing a pipe under a tennis court (reported cost: £2,000) and purchasing a new, £750, Laura Ashley couch.

Now I realise it's hard to survive on a £64,000-a-year salary these days, but one would think the "honourable members" of Parliament could do the "honourable" thing and foot these costs from their own pocket.

Of course MPs are just as entitled to claim expenses as the rest of the world, but they should be made to do so to a reasonable level.

And if they need an example, perhaps they should look to their political comrades at local level.

For if you look at the list of district councillors, you will see that Crow Country representatives Tony Hunter and Robert Inwood claimed not one penny of expenses in 2007/08.

Even those councillors that submitted claims did so for relatively minor amounts, and while I realise the costs of operating in national government are much, much higher, the point is that the councillors seem to spend what they need to, rather than what they can get away with. It's all very well the MPs protesting that their actions fall "within the rules", but when the rules are so ambiguous in the first place that's hardly a great defence.

At least locally we can truly say that our public servants appear to be concentrating on serving the public, rather than feathering their own nests.

I HAD to chuckle when I saw that ex-glamour model Jordan and her hubby, Peter Andre, are splitting up.

Not because divorce is a laughing matter, but because the couple have asked the media to "respect their families' privacy at this difficult time".

This is a couple who met on a reality TV show, appear on the front cover of Hello or Ok every week, and have had a documentary crew following them around for the last three years filming their entire lives. What sort "privacy" they think they deserve is quite beyond me!

*Read Matt's Crow Country first, every Tuesday morning at www.roystoncrow24.co.uk.

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