Maria Miller has been in the papers a great deal of late, just the latest MP to be caught fiddling their
expenses. Like scores of others she had been using a ridiculously complex system riddled with loopholes
claim large amounts of money.
She was caught in an investigation of dubious claims and told to pay back the full amount. Then for some
reason she only had to pay back £5,800. She was caught fair and square but chose to fight resulting in over a
year of investigations costing who knows how much and taking a great deal of time.
16 months of Lawyers and legal arguments and finally she was ordered to apologise (she did not
volunteer to say sorry she had to be forced) we then had an utterly insincere 30 seconds of speaking.
The whole 30 seconds of the apology are here
Pay attention to the first few seconds where there is a game of musical chairs so that she is surrounded
by her fellow MPs as a show of support and brotherhood (or sisterhood). I will get to that in a minute.
Her apology had all the sincerity of a child told to say sorry by a parent when they felt no such thing.
I have been told to apologise so I unreservedly apologise. Right that’s done, all you proles get of my case,
I said sorry already.
After people were understandably upset that someone expected them to actually believe she was in the
slightest sorry for what she had done we had her parliamentary aide, Mary Macleod, stepping in front of
the cameras to say that we did not fully understand the matter and that this was a media witch hunt and
revenge for gay marriage and the Leveson case.
Or to put it another way you plebs are too stupid to understand so go away and stop picking on the poor
woman just because she upset you by supporting gay marriages you bunch of gay haters. Oh and the
media are making her look bad in revenge for the restrictions on press freedom so don’t believe anything
you see on TV or in the papers.
To cap the arrogance she went in front of her constituents, the very people who used their votes to elect
her and send her to parliament in the first place to apologise to them as well. 16 months late.
Ms Miller, in case you missed it you work for the people of Basingstoke, they are not your servants or serfs.
You work for them and they deserved an explanation and proper apology 16 months ago when you were
first caught with your snout in the trough.
But that would have required you to consider yourself a servant of the people rather than their master,
which would have required you to care.
In a related case Michael Fabricant, the MP for Lichfield and vice chairman of the Conservative Party dared
to break ranks and take the side of the people on two subjects. The result, he is rapidly ordered to resign
and then fired.
His crimes, he opposed HS2 and wanted it to use an alternate route that would be cheaper and he failed
to support Ms Miller and did so on Twitter.
A great many people are very concerned that HS2 is a colossal waste of money and will leave a destructive
slash across the countryside that may never recover. One MP says there is a cheaper route.
A vast majority of people asked are against Ms Miller and call for her to be sacked. One MP breaks ranks
and supports the people.
“Off with his head” comes the cry from the ivory tower. He is no longer one of "Us" they shouted.
Since the expenses scandals began in 2009 MP after MP has been found to be creatively claiming every
form of expense under the sun. Duck house, moat, a sandwich for lunch, we have seen the lot.
Year after year we are told the matter is being dealt with, rules are changed, new procedures are put in
place. We are promised that it will not happen again.
Year after year it continues to happen.
Liar: A person who tells lies.
Lie: An intentionally false statement.
When you make statements that are proved to be false time after time you are called a liar, remember the
fate of the child who called wolf. When MPs and politicians make statements that are false again and again
and again we come to see them as liars and everything they say after that is treated with suspicion.
Month after month we are treated to yet another MP or politician caught by some newspaper of news
program taking bribes or selling their influence. Again and again we are told the system will be tightened up.
See liar above.
But this is why we hate individual MPs and politicians, why do we so distrust and hate the whole pack of
greedy self serving scum that make up the political class?
From school onward we form into groups and gangs and clique. At school I wasn't in the football team
gang or the cricket gang, I wasn't in any of the sporty gangs. I hung out with the geeks, nerds and science
I was one of those people the sporty types and girls didn't associate with until it was time for
homework when I magically became popular for a few hours.
After school we end up in adult life and we still find the same situation, mostly its harmless fun when we
point at the iPhone users and mock them for rushing off to buy the latest model the day it is released.
But gangs and cliques exist in far more harmful ways. The spirit of them and us haunts many aspects of
life to the determent of anyone who is classified as “Them”.
“Us” could be from the same type of school or social background, them could be poor or have strong
“Them” and “Us” is divisive, it exists whenever a few people declare themselves “Us” and work together
to keep “Them” out.
At its very worst we have a simple expression that is used to excuse cruelty and crime all over the world.
A sentence that says that justice does not work here, that the victim can expect nothing.
Right or wrong they are one of “Us”.
This is how MPs and politicians act and this is how we see them act.
The system rallied around one of their own, her so called apology where she was surrounded by
supportive MPs, the shuffle beforehand where people moved seats so when the cameras closed in on
her she was in a pack of Tories. The careful words, the leave her alones and the refusal to condemn or
Every MP and politician who stood with her and supported her demonstrated clearly to the population
at large that no matter what she had done, no matter how loud or widespread the public condemnation
she was one of “Us” and would be supported.
Any MP who broke ranks and was seen to side with the people, well they got the guillotine.
This was and is a clear public display of “Them” and “Us”. The political class standing against the very
people who voted them into power.
At a time when far too many people are tightening belts and taking cheaper options, at a time when whole
swaths of the population live in fear of the government taking away what little money they have at the
drop of a hat. At a time when the weakest and poorest are seen day after day in our media to be suffering
under the iron shod boot of an uncaring government to see that same government doing everything it
could to forgive Miller was painful.
One person cheats and all benefit claimants are criminals and thieves. One MP cheats and every MP
rallies round to show support.
“Them” and “Us”.
For Politicians, MPs and the rich it is called avoiding tax and that’s OK. For the common people it is called
evading tax and you go to prison.
“Them” and “Us”.
For a regular person cheating expenses is a crime or gets you fired from your job. For an MP or politician
cheating expenses is nothing to be bothered about and an insincere apology makes it all better.
“Them” and “Us”.
Time after time well meaning MPs and politicians have rallied to support one of their class caught doing
something that would result in arrest, charges and likely prison for mere mortals. By doing so they
reinforce the public perception that MPs and the political class are a group unto themselves.
“Them” and “Us”.
This is the image of an uncaring political class that ignores public opinion, that ignores rules and regulations that mere mortals must obey. The image of a political class that has no credibility, no concerns, no respect for the public who vote them into power. The image of a political class that supports its own and to hell with the peasants, let them eat cake.
So why do we hate politicians and Mps?
Because they have made it a case of “Them” and “Us”, and they are not “Us”!