I won’t do it voluntarily. It’s none of the public’s business. They have coped well without knowing this kind of detail for more that 75 years. They are not entitled to drool over our personal lives. I’m not going to help the mad, bad and the sad, the bloggers on the internet. I’m not pandering to mob rule. It undermines democracy to suggest that all MPs, all politicians are the spawn of beelzebub. Nobody is going to go into public life if they think the minutiae of their grocery bills are going to be looked over.
Er, why should the public be paying for grocery bills? Mr Coleman is a character. A maverick. I like mavericks. But in this case he is wrong and has totally misjudged the public mood. Speaking as what he would call a sad internet blogger, may I suggest he discovers the merits of transparency before the Conservative Party is forced to re-educate him. He says his itemised expenses are none of the public's business. Wrong. If the public is paying for his taxi bill, then the public has a right to know where he went on those journeys and why. I have to justify every single penny I claim back in expenses from a company I am a majority shareholder in. Why should a politician, whoever he is and whatever office he holds, be any different? The public is, in effect, his majority shareholder. More from Paul Waugh...
When it is pointed out that fellow Tory Andrew Boff managed to pull on the hairiest of hair shirts with zero expense claims, Mr Coleman replies: “Politicians with lower expenses tend to be the politicians who do least work. Those with higher expenses are the ones who do most work.”An astonishing assertion. Has he met Philip Hollobone MP?
Sometimes it is an admirable trait in a politician to go against the crowd. But that is not the case here. At best it is bloody minded. At worst it is a deliberate attempt to obstruct the forces of transparency.