SO, Kali Mountford and Barry Sheerman have no regrets with their expenses claims.
Having read their answers to readers’ questions, it still beggars belief that they cannot see where they have gone wrong.
Can the pair please tell me why I should pay their food bill? Ordinary people eat in their work canteen or restaurants and pay for their own food, they do not claim a tax allowance for that.
As far as I am aware, the House of Commons subsidises the people who use those facilities.
Ms Mountford purchased and claimed for a £550 fridge/freezer and also a £199.99 vacuum cleaner.
I am not saying that she should not be allowed to equip her home, but the cost of the items is extreme.
When someone else is paying, it is easy for some people with little conscience to select the best.
They talk about working within the rules, these are the very same rules which they made.
R J Bray
FOR Barry Sheerman to criticise the Daily Telegraph for its exposure of MPs (Examiner, May 23) clearly underlines the value of our free Press.
Okay, I accept that I may be somewhat biased having been a Telegraph reporter in the old Fleet Street days, but I do resent criticism of the messenger when the actual message is all important.
Sheerman himself may be blameless, but nobody would have known about the expenses scandal involving MPs of all parties unless, or until, that newspaper had fully investigated the subject.
Another point that newspaper has raised is the need now for all political parties in future to be very careful and check upon their candidates’ actual qualifications before offering them to the electorate.
Indeed, I wouldn’t be surprised if some individuals now made excuses to leave the political scene.
WE hear of a crisis in democracy. The Archbishop of Canterbury calls for an end to the public humiliation of MPs on the grounds that this is bad for democracy.
Correspondents have written of the potential death of democracy following the ‘cash for anything’ scandal.
Gordon Brown has admitted that he fears an election because it would cause chaos. Where to start?
The fact is that certain MPs and the now discredited financial arrangements of their House, have brought humiliation upon themselves.
The guilty are not owed protection from exposure and public condemnation.
That is a principle of democracy.
There are those who cling to Marxist doctrine and speak of the coming end of capitalist democracy following the discreditable actions of certain individuals.
The present turmoil demonstrates that our democracy is healthy.
As ordinary citizens we have the right to form and voice our opinions.
MPs are not forced to serve – they are free to resign in order to spend more time with their egos.
Any elected politician who finds democracy chaotic is clearly living in the wrong country and is in the wrong job.
To quote a former Labour Prime Minister, who was incidentally on the wrong end of the last Tory landslide. ‘crisis, what crisis?’
THEY still don’t get it do they? Our local MPs seem to be in complete denial and are bemused by the outrage of the electorate towards their so called expenses system.
Do they not realise that they are perceived as operating an ‘us and them’ culture, whereby the people they govern are subjected to endless rules regulations and taxes that they are able to avoid?
Are plasma TVs, designer furniture and all their other trappings necessary to perform their duties?
Kali Mountford has been sitting on a panel deliberating on MPs expenses for the past two years, need I say more?
The electorate now demand the following. A review of their gold plated pension system.
No more superannuated relatives employed as assistants.
The deselection of all MPs found to have abused the system.
A drastic cut in the number of MPs. An immediate election to restore confidence in the system.
IN the 1640s the Levellers risked prison, brandings and execution to fight for a representative parliament to do the bidding of the English people.
In the 1840s the Chartists took up their demand for annual Parliaments, universal suffrage and the right of re-call of MPs under certain circumstances.
If we had this form of democracy, there would be a few MPs currently been de-selected by their constituents.
We have achieved universal suffrage and freedom of speech beyond what the Levellers could imagine, but still Parliamentary democracy is weak, giving us only the right to choose every five years only from three different sets, all of whom represent themselves and the rich of this country.
Now Labour has betrayed the labouring people of this country, the time has come to forge a movement of ordinary people to fight for our rights.
Central to this movement’s demands must be that MPs are given only the average wage of a skilled worker and their expenses are monitored by the community they hope to represent.
The careerists would be kept out in favour of those who want to serve the people of this nation.
Parliamentary democracy is in itself not enough, unless complimented by local democracy on a town, village, community and even workplace level, so that we might all have a say in how our communities and lives are run.