Global News Journal

Beyond the World news headlines

from Africa News blog:

A question of scale

For days now Britons have been regaled with newspaper stories detailing the dubious expense claims of their Members of Parliament.

The Honourable Members, it seems, have been charging for everything from a few thousand pounds for clearing a moat to a few pence for a new bath plug. An outraged nation has risen almost as one to denounce its greedy lawmakers.

But while the various schemes devised by the members of the Mother of Parliaments are ingenious in the way they exploit the generous rules laid down by the "Fees Office" of the House of Commons, they do lack a certain scale.

When it comes to separating the state from its money, politicians in Africa, for example, show none of the inhibitions of their British colleagues.

Expenses: They order this matter differently in Sweden

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A scandal about expenses claimed by British members of parliament has damaged the already low standing of British politicians and helped Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s Labour Party to its worst opinion poll showing since polling began.

The MPs argue that what they are doing is within the rules – correct, but missing the point that it is out of line with public sentiment especially at a time of national belt-tightening.

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