(18 May 09) Most people fiddle their expenses a little, but two aspects of the MPs antics are particularly disturbing.  Firstly, expenses ‘engineering’ appears to have been widespread and sophisticated, and secondly it was sufficient for them that ‘the rules’ were not broken.  This is a variation on the Nuremberg Plea and few, if any, seem to have questioned the rules; to have thought, ‘this money has been taken from the hard-earned wages of  my constituents on pain of dire legal penalties’.  This simply confirms the fact that the idea of public service is long dead and that self-interest predominates.  As for Gordon Brown’s sudden anxiety to change the system, that would have been more convincing had he done something about it earlier in his 28 year career as an MP.  The Alternative Party will deal with expenses and allowances as part of a general simplifying of the whole tax system, and will ensure that, with the possible exception of some security matters, the destination of all taxes, local, national, direct and indirect, will be published in detail.  All that said, we should not forget that the money – OUR money – that MPs have redirected to themselves, dwindles into insignificance compared with the vast sums they have wasted through their sheer incompetence and mismanagement.  Also, given that they did this knowing it was very likely to be made public, the question arises, what are they up behind the scenes?