Wednesday, June 10, 2009

On politicians, especially British ones

A fine rant from Mark Steyn, the only pundit I know who regularly writes about three different countries - the US, the UK and Canada (which, putting aside Quebec, is sort of a convex combination of the other two) - and does it well.

The rant is mostly, but not entirely, about the expenses scandal that has just brought down the speaker of Britain's parliament, and which is well worth reading about if only for its entertainment value.

A taster:

For their constituents, the scandal is a rare glimpse of a central truth about politics in an advanced western democracy: A lifetime in “public service” is a lifetime of getting serviced at public expense. The salaries are small but the perks are unlimited. A few weeks back, while the Home Secretary was away and her poor husband was whiling away a quiet evening , he purchased two pay-per-view pornographic movies – By Special Request and Raw Meat 3 – which, upon her return, his missus promptly billed to the government. Most of us, whether we land a job at the local feed store, the dental practice or National Review, expect to have to pay for our own moats, toilet seats, chocolate Santas and screenings of Raw Meat 3. But being in “public service” means never having to say, “Hey, this one’s on me.”

Hat tip: Nat Wilcox