The London Paper – 22 May 2009
‘Let he who is without sin cast the first stone’. That phrase has been ricocheting around my bony head for the last two weeks as I’ve watched the media doing absolutely everything in its power to whip up public fury about the MPs’ expenses scandal. Whilst what those corrupt mofos have got up to is clearly unacceptable I’m a monkey’s uncle if most readers haven’t got up to something similar at some point in their lives … and what will surprise absolutely no-one is that certain Cityboys also love to supplement their massive incomes by ripping off their expenses department.
As long as greedy people exist then a system that is open to abuse will be abused. Just as certain dodgy MPs found cunning ways to get the taxpayer to pay for cleaning their moat or maintaining their helipad, so many of us have found a way of conning our employers. The main difference, of course, is that we tend to do things on a smaller scale and hence we consider nicking stationary or using the office phone to call our relatives in Australia or pulling a sicky as ‘harmless’ when, in fact, we are simply ripping off the company we work for. There is no moral difference between what we do and what our corrupt politicians have got up to, it’s just that they’re dumb enough to work in a field where their every move is scrutinized. Admittedly, their expenses are paid for by taxpayers’ money so we all feel ripped off but so should the shareholders of the companies we fiddle and, if you’re employed in the public sector as over six million of us are, then work scams are effectively conning taxpayers too.
Of course, Cityboys across the Square Mile are popping champagne corks about this recent scandal because for the first time in months they’re not public enemy number one. But their moral superiority is suspect because I remember all too clearly the non-stop expenses fiddles that were perpetrated daily. I’ve seen traders with whole books of taxi receipts that they’ve clearly bought off some dodgy cabbie that they happily filled out with gay abandon. I’ve ‘heard about’ Charlie and prozzers being acquired for clients and made-up restaurant receipts being used to recoup the cost. Cityboys are also all too aware that getting expenses to pay for strip joints is a tall order and that’s why salubrious places like Stringfellows proudly announce on the website that ‘for your own security and ours none of our receipts … show the name Stringfellows or Angels’! A “friend\” used to pay his team\’s secretary £3K every year to not log all his days off so that he could take eight, and not six weeks, holiday a year
Smug Cityboys who revel in the temporary relief caused by the MPs scandal need to realise one thing – half the big banks in this sorry country are now owned by we taxpayers. That means any expenses scams Cityboys commit are now directly ripping us off just like those perpetrated by our politicians… so get off your high horse and stop it! You have been warned.