Empty Trough Syndrome
The metaphor most commonly thrust upon greedy MP’s is ‘snouts in the trough’, no doubt because the people of Britain feel that snaffling money for purely selfish and greedy purposes is inevitably porcine. It transpires that while the working people of Britain are unable to sleep, entangled in sums and figures, trying to determine whether or not this month’s mortgage will go unpaid yet again and whether or not the children will eat this week, the suited classes in charge of us are happily siphoning our money out of the communal pot to spend on extravagant luxuries which many of us are unable to afford for our first home, let alone second.
Our politicians have been draining this country of huge amounts of money like vampires devouring the blood of a rapidly fading victim. While we are told by our leaders that our own spending and consumer greed (ie. The extortionate credit cards we are forced to survive on) and our own carelessness has landed us in the middle of a ‘credit crunch’, they themselves are zooming around in fine cars, voraciously hording sparkly trinkets like magpies, and sticking it all on the country’s bill, hundreds of thousands of pounds of it. Out of our failing national purse has come the money for every extravagance and trivial comfort and indulgence imaginable, while they point their quivering, saturated finger in our direction. The most notorious examples of expenditure, gaining exposure with the press, have been top of the range sound systems, bags of manure for the garden and the pipes for tennis courts, being just a mere few. The politicians furnish their second homes not sensibly but luxuriantly, only the best will do. Why is it necessary to have the most expensive, snazzy cd player, costing hundreds of pounds, for one’s part-time, secondary residence, when most of the country have one for £11.99 from Asda for their only home?
Of-course, the most infamous and scandalous revelation of all was Jacqui Smith’s claim for her husband’s adult films. Difficult though it is to believe, one of the people charged with running our country actually demanded that we foot the bill for her husband’s porn. Of-course, it was never thought that the public would find out about the £20.00 bill, it was always intended to remain a grubby little secret, as are most of these guilty expenditures. We did however find out, and did anything happen? Of-course not.
In fairness, opportunism is inherent human nature, part of survival. As human beings we are compelled to survive, to grasp any opportunity given to us and to clamour for any foothold on the cliff that will keep us out of the ravine. How many of us, given a blank cheque and the opportunity to spend whatever we wanted, thinking that nobody would find out, would refuse? Many of us would, granted. As well as opportunism however, morality is also an inherent human quality and this wasn’t survival, it was excessive indulgence. In the midst of a national crisis and on the brink of recession, with people losing their jobs, unable to pay their bills, the people at the top of the ladder, in charge of the whole mess, should have had the morality and backbone to ‘just say no’. As tempting as it would be to have a blank cheque placed in your hand, the prospect would surely only be appetising if the consequences weren’t detrimental to the country and its people. Apparently not. Where most of us would undoubtedly be tempted to fill our basket full of diamonds but would think better of it, it appears that politicians weighed up the consequences, gave a shrug, and stuffed their greedy faces full of caviar.
You can’t dress it up any other way, it was greedy and immoral. They plundered the country, taking everything for themselves and leaving the hard-working, ordinary classes with an empty purse and empty fridge. While I’m not suggesting that their behaviour has caused or even been a major contribution to the credit crunch, the fact that they have been watching us flounder, unable to pay our bills, losing our jobs, while they filled their pockets with gold and trotted off to Harrods, is outrageous and abhorrent. It’s the principle and their attitude which are repugnant. They are compared to pigs round a trough because they have behaved like greedy, selfish, gluttonous animals. There was no compassion or even interest shown by people who watched us sinking lower and lower, while they filled their various homes with expensive items that we could only dream of. Their attitude is a slap in the face to all those of us who have struggled, gone without food and daily essentials, the bare minimum necessities, while they wallowed in Champaign. They preached to us on the news, lecturing us on the dire situation and our own greed, standing in suits paid for with our money. They went home to second residences, furnished not with basic or even comfortable modesty but with top notch furniture and cutting edge entertainment systems, paid for with the money drained from our purses. Our homes were repossessed because we couldn’t afford to keep one home, while they played musical chairs between their various houses. Did they care? No. If they had, they wouldn’t have done it.
Is it their fault? Yes. I accept that the opportunity was handed to them on a plate and it’s hard to refuse something given so appealingly, but their morality should have stopped them. They were given the opportunity to exploit the people at their mercy, but no-one twisted their arm, they chose to do it. This wasn’t just immoral, it was criminal. They watched us starve while they gorged, and now the trough is empty, we have nothing left. Poor them.