This mornings papers are full of comment about the redacted nature of the publication of MP’s expenses and it was a major theme of last night’s Question Time. Maybe this redaction went too far but the fact is that some things were rightly redacted to protect peoples privacy. Who is going to be brave enough in comments to say that the personal details of MP’s staff should be published, for example?
Contributions on Question Time showed a general confusion between employment and ownership; yes the taxpayer pays MP’s but doesn’t own them and were depressingly reminiscent of a witch-hunt ie, an atmosphere in which the participants have lost all sense of proportion. The real issue remains the abuse of the system which has been flagrant in some cases and people’s anger of that is indeed legitimate however there comes a time when legitimate anger leads to deeply illegitimate demands and with regard to the redaction issue the general consensus of opinion is in danger of crossing that line.
It is coming dangerously close to a situation where people, spurred on by the likes of Esther Rantzen and Polly Toynbee, are going to respond to an infringement of their rights with the mass trampling over others.