Step forward, Jim Devine, Elliot Morley, David Chaytor, and Lord Hanningfield. You are going to court to answer charges that you fiddled your expenses. I hope the court will have the courage to find you guilty if you are, and I hope that, if convicted, you are all sent to prison for a period of time commensurate with your greed and deception.
One of my first posts on this blog was in response to the expenses fiasco, in which I professed some sympathy for the ones who had got caught in a culture of 'claim it anyway', especially if they had first sought the guidance of the fees office and been given the green light. But these four are accused of something far more reprehensible - false accounting, where they deliberately falsified records to maximise the amount they could claim. Even on the most generous interpretation, these are criminal acts.
Now we can add Harry Cohen, who claimed around £70,000 for his 'second home' expenses, while renting out his 'first home', and therefore making it not his first home, of course, since he cannot live there.
They are all challenging the claims, and may indeed be innocent, so I will merely express the hope that the courts find out the truth, and that they are then fearless in their sentencing.
I can't resist putting up this video of Jim Devine being skewered by Krishnan Guru-Murthy on C4. Every time I watch it, I ask myself how the hell this person ever became an MP. It seems that the Scottish Labour mafia have huge influence - he is from the same mould as the inept Michael Martin. The joke about pinning a red rosette on a donkey never seemed so apt.
To follow Gordon Brown's approach to statistics, I would say that these five people prove that 80% of all serious corruption is by socialists. It's more accurate and truthful than a 'zero-percent rise' in public spending.