Saturday, 9 May 2009

Spot the difference

Two stories; the same day, but different worlds....

Story 1.

It took 13 days, but Major Phil Packer, who lost the use of his legs in a rocket attack in Iraq in last year, finally crossed the London Marathon finish line after midday today.

Exhausted but ecstatic, Packer - who was told he would never walk again after the accident in February 2008 - was surrounded by a crowd of family, friends and wellwishers as he was awarded his medal by Sir Steve Redgrave at the gates of St James's Park on The Mall.

Packer completed his Herculian task - covering the 52,400 steps of the 26.2-mile course at a rate of two miles a day, the maximum distance he was advised to attempt by doctors - to raise a million pounds for the charity Help for Heroes, which provides financial assistance for wounded British servicemen.


Story 2.

The Daily Telegraph's files show that Barbara Follett, the Tourism Minister; Phil Woolas, the Immigration Minister; Ben Bradshaw, the Health Minister; and Phil Hope, the Care Services Minister, have exploited the MPs' expenses system.

The questionable expense claims of two former ministers, Keith Vaz and Barry Gardiner, are also disclosed. They come after this newspaper published suspect claims made by 13 members of the Cabinet. Commons authorities ask police to investigate The details of their claims has resulted in an outpouring of public anger over the MPs' expenses system with calls for immediate reform.

The Cabinet ministers involved, including Jack Straw and Lord Mandelson, have refused to apologise but instead criticised the parliamentary expenses system. The latest disclosures show that the expenses scandal goes beyond the Cabinet and implicates the entire Government.


There are legions of decent, honest, and honourable people in this country. The tragedy is that none of them sit in parliament.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

A hero versus the scum...

Seema said...

Despite all the revelations, not one resignation.... not one.....

amigauser said...

A army major, who was well paid, knew the risks he was taking, gets injured in Pipelinistan, now takes part in a Army PR exercise, to makes us feel beholden to him and the rest of the army

MY REAL HERO, was the RAF doctor who refused to goto war in Iraq, was discharged and then sent to jail - that is a real hero - someone who stands up to the government when it does wrong

http://www.guardian.co.UK/UK/2006/apr/14/Iraq.military

Anonymous said...

I expect while Oxbridge graduates in still in their twenties were making much higher sums in the City, even in the more basic posts in investment and merchant banking, etc., and quite a few similar negative comparisons existed (e.g. company accountants; tax advising; even London plumbers), MP's felt the expenses system was just a fair supplement to their salaries. I'm not sure why the Vice-Chancellor of Nottingham University makes ten times the basic MP salary, and why many senior posts in local government are also better remunerated. Even the better paid in local banks and bulding societies make more. I trust MP's are busy, multi-talented, capable people in the public eye; while the economy was bubbling their salaries appeared too low.

B. in C.

Anonymous said...

Why are injured vets having to do charity runs to get the money for rehabilitation? Surely, this should be picked up by the MOD as the cost of war? I never understand why they can find trillions for Trident etc., but not £100 million for rehab of injured soldiers.

Man in a Shed said...

I'm afraid the expenses scandan is just a sign of a wider malaise in how we govern ourselves.

electro-kevin said...

Though I support the military staunchly (as the police - I once was a cop) I'm afraid I have to agree with Amigauser.

You have to be deluded to sign up for military service nowadays - guided by these hoons in power.

For that horrible comment I won't hide.

kevinjpeat@btinternet.com

Boy on a bike said...

It's a bit rich to criticise a poor system when you're in charge of it.

If the system allows poor behaviour, it does not mean that you should conduct yourself badly. Those with morals could still conduct themselves without reproach whilst those around them were drowning in the trough of expenses.

It's like finding a wallet full of cash in a park. Do you pocket the cash or hand it in? By the sounds of things, most of the Cabinet would trouser the cash and then criticise the Police for failing to find it.

Anonymous said...

B in C love the spurious comparison, take a guy who is retiring and so taking a lump sum out and is the deputy of a university and compare it with the basic salary of a backbench MP. Also lets compare salaries net of tax....

Fact is when you make a comparison of their net take home salaries backbench MPs are in the top 2% of earners in this country. This when a shaved chimp could have got elected in some of the safe seats.