Putting aside the notably short sentence of Eric Illsley, the MP who was jailed for 12-months in February and who complains upon his release from prison only 2 months later that he has been made a scapegoat for the expenses scandal.
Understandably, he is confused that his £14,500 fiddled from the tax payer got him a 12-month sentence while his LibDem counterpart David Laws has been allowed to carry on his career with an apology to the House of Thieves for his £40,000 deception.
So what makes the decisions so radically different? John Lyon, the parliamentary commissioner for standards, concluded that there is no evidence to suggest Laws had broken the rules out of a desire to maximise profits even though his partner had made £193,000 on property bought and sold while mortgage payments must surely have been made easier as a result of the expenses claims – does the public purse have rights to any of that money?
Sure this is a case for Proceeds of Crime to be applied so that ill-gotten-gains can be raked back to the public purse. Lyon’s recommendation that Laws should ‘apologise to MPs’ was a crass suggestion and a crass action considering that many of the MPs he’s apologising to are guilty of the same thing – surely he should be apologising to the people that he serves and represents.
So even within the duplicity of Parliament where MPs behave like spoilt brats and get away with it, there is another level of privilege and another level of duplicity. While we have no sympathy for Mr Illsley’s complaints when a multitude of regular disabled folk are contemplating suicide at the hands of the DWP and government sanctioned benefits witch hunt making even those who have lost limbs into scrounging pariah we do share his concerns at the inequity and duplicity that drives the decisions being made in our name.