It seems that Mr Finklestein, over at The Times, has been unsettled by the current feelings of animosity being shown by everyone towards MPs. He claims that he can’t join in with the heckling of MPs, and is unable to comprehend how we can be fomented into a baying mob by some common-or-garden theft. Especially when it’s balanced up against all the so-called ‘good’ work our humble MPs do for us. Or compared to the suffering of those in Zimbabwe or Darfur.
Why are we angry? A natural reaction to seeing a wrong committed is the hope that the transgressor is punished in some way; hopefully so that they do not undertake a similar action on another occasion. In the case of the MPs we, the taxpayers, have quite simply been stolen from, lied to and are sure that justice will be stopped from taking it’s natural course. We are all feeling cheated and also impotent.
In any organization there is a desire to construct a collective identity that reflects the moral worth of the assembled individuals. In this case tarring all MPs with the same brush is fair. After all they wrote the rules by which they are now being judged, and they also had multiple opportunities to punish those who were abusing the expenses system. But alas they were all ‘on the take’ in one way or another, the organization itself was morally bankrupt, and it seems that it had an effective hold over any new entrants.
The taxpayers feelings have coalesced around the issue of the breech of the bond of trust that we hold with politicians. Trust is something that we can and should always show in each other, unless, of course, someone transgresses against us. In this instance we have all had our trust broken as the baying mob shows.