Well it should be, I'm not the first one to point out the comparison between the treatment of MPs who get to keep their gains with the minor punishment of resigning their seats and experiencing public shame to that of people struggling to get by on benefits who face possible imprisonment. If anything surely the punishment should be high for MP's who have both stolen more and are public figures who should be more accountable. Obviously, within the Socialist Party we have a policy of workers MPs on workers wages and expenses open to inspection which I think would be a damned good way of stopping this. But this isn't what I wanted to blog about today.
In the last few months a rather interesting website, Nasty Knights, has been set up after one of the authors of the Bent Society blog noticed that several knights (sir) had been involved in somewhat dodgy dealings. But over the last two weeks or so the blog has been inundated with posts as the expenses scandal broke and knighted MPs were up to their necks in it. So far the blog has chronicled 7 Sir MPs, they are
Sir Michael Spicer (Con)
Sir Alan Haselhurst (Con)
Sir John Butterfill (Con)
Sir Gerald Kaufman (Lab)
Sir Nicholas Winterton (Con)
Sir Menzies (Ming) Campbell (Lib)
Sir Peter Viggers (Con)
Personally, I think studying corruption and knighthoods is actually a farily interesting idea - especially seeing as it seems to be so common. I do have some suggestions to move this forwards though, especially with regards to knighted MPs.
Firstly, of the 7 presented above, 5 are Conservatives - does this mean that Tory knights are more corrupt or that only these have been highlighted? Also is the scale or type of claim important as regards to the party?
Secondly, how many more are there? What proportion of all the knights in parliament are they? And just how many knights are there in parliament anyway?
I think looking at these questions may help us get a decent picture of the extent of corrupt knights in parliament and help in getting some sort of baseline to study other areas of knighthood and corruption.