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Stephen Fry again

Reference the Stephen Fry Newsnight interview on MPs’ expense claims and the thread below that it spawned…

Have any of you actually listened to Fry’s interview? He’s not excusing MPs’ behaviour; he’s saying that all of us out here in the ‘real’ world – journalists, travelling salesmen, plumbers, window-cleaners, journalists again and especially…basically anyone who has ever had a corporate credit card, expenses account or is self-employed – has cheated their employer and/or the tax-man at some point in their lives. Yes you have. The only difference between MPs and us is that they have more opportunity to be frivolous with their ill-gotten expense payments because the sums are larger. Boo-hoo.

In fact, there’s another rather important difference between the parliamentarians and the proles, and it’s that no matter how much the interior designers and moat-cleaners get under our skin, the fact remains that the vast majority of MPs’ ‘dodgy’ expense claims look to be technically legal, whereas that stationery you claimed for last week was actually for personal use, and there were no clients with you as you tucked into your lamb rogan josh last Friday night.

All of which means you are cheating your companies and/or the taxman, which in turn means you’re not just a load of whinging, self-righteous hypocrites, you’re also a bunch of criminals.

The moment this realisation dawns, you’ll start to agree with Fry about what really matters…the sorts of issues the MSM currently ignores as it continues its infantilisation of our politics.

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