The politics of corruption

Where do you start?
  • Who will pay the price for the expenses scandal? (Reuters, 12 May 2009)
    Politicians are facing intense criticism after newspaper revelations about their extensive expenses claims at a time when the country is suffering its worst recession since World War Two. Prime Minister Gordon Brown apologised on behalf of all politicians on Monday after days of embarrassing headlines about members of parliament claiming expenses for everything from home repairs to basic goods.
  • American takes on British parliament over expenses (Associated Press, 12 May 2009)
    Heather Brooke, a 38-year-old Pennsylvania-born reporter, has become the scourge of parliament, forcing the publication of legislators' expenses claims following a five-year legal battle that has exposed Britain's deep-rooted culture of official secrecy. The expense bills reveal how lawmakers frittered away public money with claims for porn movies, chandeliers and housekeepers or repaired their tennis court, swimming pool or helicopter pad. One legislator charged the public for sacks of horse manure, while an ex-minister submitted a claim for cleaning the moat that circles his lavish country home — a request he now says was made in error.
  • This mother of all expenses cock-ups is the stuff of banana republics (The Guardian, 12 May 2009)
  • Moats, money and the real meaning of modernisation (The Independent, 13 May 2009)
  • Unsung hero : Heather Brooke (The Guardian, 15 May 2009)
  • MPs' expenses: cash secrets of MPs who tried to stop you seeing their expenses (Daily Telegraph, 17 May 2009)
  • MPs' expenses: now we know why they worried (Daily Telegraph, 17 May 2009)
    MPs on all sides battled hard for four years to prevent their expenses claims from being disclosed under freedom of information laws.
  • MP apologises for expenses rant (BBC News, 21 May 2009)
    A Devon MP embroiled in a row about his expenses has "unreservedly apologised" for saying the public should not have been allowed to see what he claimed. Totnes Conservative MP Anthony Steen was alleged by the Daily Telegraph to have claimed more than £87,000 over four years for his country home. On Radio 4's The World At One, he said the public had no right to interfere with his private life.
  • The British public should know better (The Guardian, 22 May 2009)
    The really corrosive revelation of the MPs' expenses furore is that, in contrast to the US, secrecy is the UK's cultural default.