Saturday, 4 December 2010

David Chayter & The Angry Young Man

I'm angry. Very angry.

Angry at the MPs that took advantage of the old expenses system to rip off British tax-payers. I'm angry on behalf of those who pay their taxes, and also on behalf of those low-ranking politicians such as myself whose reputation has been dragged into the gutter because of their selfish actions.

Yesterday, one of the four politicians (Labour MPs David ChayterElliott Morley and Jim Devine along with Conservative Lord Hanningfield) who are going to court to answer for their misdemeanors, pleaded guilty.

David Chayter, a former Labour MP, is now facing a criminal conviction for false accounting and will be sentenced in the New Year. I hope he goes to jail and I hope he goes to jail for a good number of years. I gather the maximum is 7 but pleading guilty may save him a year or so from this figure.

Not all politicians are criminals
Those that have been caught out will hopefully, deservedly get their just deserts.

But I hope we can begin, as a result of this, to put the whole sorry saga behind us. Because the majority of MPs, let alone politicians at lower levels, are actually in the business for the right reasons.

They and indeed I, are not in it for the money or the advantage that it can give, but to actually make a positive difference to the communities that we represent. If I wanted to make loads of money then I wouldn't be a County Councillor. I get paid £12,500 for doing what I do. If I wanted more than, they I'd go and do something else. But instead, I'm doing what I do because there's nothing better than helping local residents out on their day-to-day problems. It may not change the world in the bigger sense but if I can help make lives easier for residents in Cardigan, then that is a very worthwhile thing to do. 

Indeed, in the 6 years that I have been a Ceredigion County Councillor, I have not claimed a penny of expenses. I'm paid a more than reasonable amount for doing my job and when we're having to ask local residents to tighten their belts as the economic situation demands, then I should do the same also. I'm angry at those who took advantage of the old system to deliberately milk it for all it was worth for their own personal gain.

The likes of David Chayter, Elliott Morley, Jim Devine and Lord Hanningfield are already guilty of dragging the reputation of all politicians into the gutter. I hope in the weeks and months to come, they are found guilty by the courts and are punished accordingly with custodial sentences.

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