Image borrowed from The Poke.
I can remember far enough back in the depths of time to my school days and this was a joke even then, something the class would laugh at, something the teacher would give you 'That Look' for. It was a silly excuse, everyone knew it but people still tried to use it from time to time.
The dog ate my homework.
Everyone knew it was a fake excuse, everyone knew what it meant. Someone hadn't done their homework or had forgotten to copy the homework done by the class brains.
I'm not sure whether to laugh or to shake my head sadly at this latest incarnation of the lame excuse, actually I'll go with the sad bit because this isn't funny really. Its simply another in a long line of actions which indicate just how much contempt our political class has for both the law and for the electorate.
The Dog ate my expense forms.
The speaker of the house, Mr Bercow supervised the shredding and destruction of ALL records relating to MPs expenses claims dated 2010 and earlier. Details of who claimed what, of who was paid what and the justifications why they were paid. All destroyed. Any possibility of investigation into corruption, abuse of expenses and outright fraud. All gone.
The Speaker ate my expense forms.
A House of Commons spokesman said the policy on destroying MPs’ expenses records was longstanding and to comply with data law.
Principle 5 of the data protection act is interpreted as follows by the independent body the Information commissioner’s Office:
Personal data processed for any purpose or purposes shall not be kept for longer than is necessary for that purpose or those purposes.
But then I suppose that when the data could be used to bring charges of Fraud against MPs or to damage their reputations even more just a few months before a general election those records cease to have any purpose.
After all the same rules for parliamentary records say the pay, discipline and sickness records of Commons staff are kept until their 100th birthday.
Health and safety records are kept for up to 40 years.
Hundreds of thousands of other documents relating to the day-to-day running of parliament are archived forever.
So if you want to find out about how much photo copy paper parliament uses, or the bill to clean the carpets each month, those are available until the end of time. If you want to know how long your MP was off with a cold, the records are there.
But if you want to investigate scams, corruption and fraud where individual MPs rack up tens of thousands of pounds a year in dubious or false expense claims and make more by renting houses they claim as homes or every other form of dodgy practice that exists in the house. Sorry, no records exist anymore, all records dated 2010 and before have been destroyed.
Cover up or incompetence?
These days can anyone tell the difference?
To misquote the Jedi Obi Wan Kenobi:
One of these pictures is of the most wretched hive of scum and villainy in the known universe, ruled over by cruel and ruthless crime lords
The other is a picture of a film set representing a make believe town in a forty year old movie.
So, was it a cover up or was it incompetence?
Was it both at the same time?
Or was it something worse, was it the arrogance of the political class who think that they exist above and beyond the laws that bind the little people?
Was it the arrogance of MPs who seem to think that we elect them so they can rule over us like the Kings of old, with unchallenged power and the right to do whatever they wish, to take whatever they desire and to make themselves wealthy at the expense of the serfs down there in the mud?
The speaker is much like the rest of our political class, he represents an insular, inbred social group from which far too many of our politicians are drawn. He represents an entire class of people whose attitudes, thought processes and ethics have been shaped by a handful of schools and universities along with lifelong contact with a social group that thinks the same way and encourages an elitist attitude toward themselves and contempt toward the vast majority of the population.
Regardless of the excuse given for why these records were destroyed this was nothing more or less than the cover up of corruption and it will be defended by the political class because it was an action to protect the political class.
This act was just the latest in a long line of acts, to protect the political class as a whole. To close ranks against outsiders who have dared to question their rulers.
Us and them. The political class against the population, the MPs against the electorate.
The dirty peasants are revolting against a politician so all politicians must rally round, after all if they don't protect each other the whole corrupt political class will be destroyed by the truth.
Our political class have spent many years demonstrating to us they they cannot be trusted, that they consider themselves to be a privileged class far above the proles who vote for them and a group of people that set and maintain the laws of the land and as such are above and beyond those laws.
Our politicians are widely hated and distrusted and they have worked hard over the years to have earned that attitude towards them.
An entrenched political class safe and sound within an entrenched political system, two party politics, safe seats, tribal voting. We have sat back and watched this happen and yet we still vote for the big two parties because the alternative is the other big party.
British politics, hold your nose and vote for the least corrupt