Politics.co.uk Blog

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Why journalists hate expenses

It's not just MPs who are sick of stories about their expenses. Journalists aren't particularly keen, either.

This was a trend detectable within the Palace of Westminster a long time ago. "I don't care," one moaned in August, as he recalled the weeks of rooting through forms for titbits of unallowable allowances.

Since then the scandal has dragged on. Most hacks had got over the trauma of this scandal to end all administrative scandals.

Today it has come back to haunt them, with devastating effect.

Most appeared at their desks, bright and early this morning. Up popped the claims on parliament's website. They got to work, rooting - in electronic form - through the forms all over again.

By mid-afternoon most have a glazed look on their eyes, a numbed sort of blankness. There have been some corkers unearthed - the best is undisputably a bell-tower refurbishment - but most are utterly exhausted.

The hacks have had enough. And, in even more bad news for MPs, they're determined to take it out on their elected representatives.

At lunchtimes the atrium of Portcullis House, where MPs gather for coffees and meals, was filled with the sound of little children singing Christmas carols.

None expressed the slightest flicker of interest. All hunched past, absorbed in their own world of expenses ordure.

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