How Brown minor did rather well after his Schooldays
If you go to the MPs’ interest declarations at the Commons online whatnot, you can observe in cinerama technicolor 3-D HD 32gig pixel clarity what the final outcome of the Expenses Scandal has really been: full, frank and brass-necked disclosure.
This doesn’t stem the Citizen observer’s growing sense, on reading these euphemistic claims, that surreal political luminaries like Gordon Brown are cashing in pretty much in the same way that his arch-rival Moral Tone did. Still, Mr Brown is from a more careful era during which politicians like Bill Clinton only reaped the rewards after they’d messed up bigtime. The Unholy Orders to which Jeremy Hunt genuflects look to make a pile before they wreck anything of importance.
Gordon’s dissemble of choice is the phrase ‘I am not receiving any money from this role personally. It is being held by the Office of Gordon and Sarah Brown for the employment of staff to support my ongoing involvement in public life.’ Hmm. Does the, um, office of G & S Brown indulge at all, we wonder, in this ‘ongoing involvement’? Do its occupants eat the food, lie down in the beds, spend the fees?
It’s the usual NewsSpeak bollocks; but for the record, it amounted to £706,500 from August to December 2011. So the office of the man who licked the bankers all over, sold the gold, overspent the budget, hid everything off balance-sheet, and then lost the one election he ever faced, is pulling down somewhere around £1.7m per annum. He also gets an MP’s salary and a former PM’s pension – the latter of which is, of course, index-linked.
There are many, many times during any given week that I wish I’d been a spendthrift bullsh*tting incompetent in my working life. For verily, I’d be far better off than I am today.
But mainly, I wish I was An Office, making no money from my role personally. It sounds like a lot of fun to me.