Wait! Porn isn’t a legitimate government expense? Says who?

British government officials have a bit of explaining to do after the Telegraph got their hands on and published information from a report that listed some of the odd things Her Majesty’s public servants expect to be reimbursed for, such as horse manure and porn for the hubby:

According to the details published by Britain’s Daily Telegraph, [Prime Minister Gordon] Brown paid his brother Andrew more than 6,500 pounds ($9,800) in two years for a maid the two shared when Brown was Britain’s Treasury chief. The newspaper declined to say how it had obtained expense claims from 13 ministers but promised to roll out more in the coming days.

Home Office Secretary Jacqui Smith expensed two X-rated movies her husband watched, which she later repaid. Housing minister and former Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett claimed 600 pounds ($900) for hanging plant baskets. And former Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott claimed 300 pounds ($450) over two years to fix broken toilet seats.

The list could also prove damaging to the opposition Conservatives—one Tory lawmaker expensed fertilizer used on his country house garden while a different lawmaker put in for cans of cat food.

Other expenses, categorized only by political party, included toilet seats, horse manure, wine rack, rat poison, pool maintenance, piano tuning, a chocolate Santa and a pizza cutter.

"I know people will be angry and it looks very bad," Harriet Harman, a Cabinet minister, told the BBC. "We recognize that … public confidence is dented and we want to restore respect for the House of Commons."

A good start toward rebuilding that confidence might be to buy your own dang rat poison, Harriet. (One hopes that wasn’t going into the Santa!)

It’s embarrassing revelations like these that spell the coming fall of a government. Not the big stuff. Not the bank failures, the skyrocketing taxes, or the inability of the Government to sell its own bonds, because its finances are so screwed up.

No, it’s the little things that finally cause the average voter to snap, to throw down their newspapers in disgust and shout "I have to scrimp and save and you’re wasting my money on horse manure?" That’s what causes them to say "enough is enough:" the everyday things they can easily comprehend, rather than the head-swirling confusion of international credit swaps and national tax policy. That the corruption is bipartisan only means that heads will roll on both sides of the aisle.

Dirty movies and pizza cutters – signs of the fall for the postmodern age.

 

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One Response to Wait! Porn isn’t a legitimate government expense? Says who?

  1. […] but it hasn’t gained much traction.  Small wonder that, faced with an out of touch and corrupt political class, more and more Britons (especially disaffected Labourites) are coming to see the […]

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