Ok it is UK Labour but they are so similar to Labour here that the observations of Peter Oborne at The Telegraph are worth repeating.
The book can at last be closed on The Daily Telegraph investigation into the MPs’ expenses scandal. More than 300 Members of Parliament have paid back wrongly claimed expenses. Several of the worst offenders have stood down from Parliament. Now that the former minister Denis MacShane has at last pleaded guilty to fraud, no further prosecutions are planned, and all criminal investigation is reported to have ceased.
But one puzzling question remains. Why is it that only Labour MPs have been found guilty of expenses fraud as a result of the Telegraph revelations?
Because thy are bent?
Yesterday’s decision by Mr MacShane (one of the most dishonest characters with whom I have ever had the misfortune to do business) brings to six the number of MPs who have been convicted or pleaded guilty. Not a single one is Tory, Lib Dem or from one of the nationalist parties. All six are Labour.
Some people will doubtless argue that the fact that only Labour MPs have been convicted is interesting but meaningless. I don’t think this can be true. Mathematicians tell us that the statistical probability against a coin coming up heads six times in a row is 64-1. In other words there is only one chance in 64 that Labour’s score of 6/6 was a coincidence.
There is an overwhelming likelihood that it is indeed statistically significant that only Labour MPs have been found guilty as a result of the expenses investigation. Labour members of the House of Commons need to face up to the uncomfortable truth. The outcome of the Telegraph investigation strongly suggests they are much more likely to lie, cheat and steal than members of other parties. Now that the expenses scandal has drawn to a close, they urgently need to ask themselves why that should be.
It is especially perplexing because the party in general strongly feels itself to be the embodiment of decency and morality. Indeed Labour has always insisted that the Conservatives are the party of venality, greed and selfishness. How baffling it is, then, that only Labour MPs have been sent to jail as a result of the Telegraph revelations.
The numbers don’t lie. By why are Labour crooked?
Paradoxically, I believe that it is Labour’s belief in its own higher morality – what Bertrand Russell called the “superior virtue of the oppressed” – that has led to its downfall. Our two major political parties have emerged from rival philosophical traditions. Labour hails from the progressive school, which is fundamentally optimistic about human nature, but believes that our humanity is thwarted and twisted by social institutions. Conservatives are the opposite. They are pessimistic about human nature, and believe that life can only be conducted within the framework of existing institutions and the rule of law. They stress narrow objectives such as telling the truth, caring for one’s neighbour, and good manners. The Conservative tradition is extremely sceptical of ambitious schemes for social transformation.
By contrast, progressives view social conventions and restraints as the crucial impediment to human fulfilment. As far as Karl Marx was concerned, law, morality and religion were simply mechanisms for maintaining bourgeois dominance. Indeed Marx’s followers explicitly licensed falsehood and deceit as instruments of revolutionary change. As J A Schumpeter observed: “The first thing a man will do for his ideals is lie.” I suggest, therefore, that the readiness of Labour MPs to fabricate their expenses is symbolic of a wider philosophical disposition: a structural tolerance of lying and cheating as a justification for political action.
It is always impertinent to speculate about human motive, but there is evidence that the Labour expenses cheats justified their actions in very much the same way. They were underpaid, they needed the extra money for virtuous reasons, they were members of a great reforming government, etc, etc. Denis MacShane insisted, for example, that he made no personal gain from his cheating, and that the stolen money was used to fund research trips to Europe. In short, the fabrication of expenses claims falls into exactly the same category as the fabrication of evidence about Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction.
Len Brown’s claims of innocence because he loves this city fall into the same category too.
[T]he Telegraph expenses scandal comes close to proof that Labour MPs are far more likely to countenance lying, cheating and breaking the law. Thomas Sowell, the Conservative philosopher, puts it like this in his masterpiece, A Conflict of Visions: “Those who see the potentialities of human nature as extending far beyond what is currently manifested here have a social vision quite different from those who see human beings as tragically limited creatures whose selfish and dangerous impulses can be contained only by social contrivances which themselves produce unhappy side effects.”
Conservatives believe that it is only those social contrivances that save us from our own predatory and evil natures. Progressives believe that human beings are wiser than institutions. Conservatives believe that institutions are wiser than human beings. We are talking here about two radically different views of the world and of human potential. The outcome of the Telegraph expenses investigation suggests that the Conservative vision has at least one very important advantage: it keeps you out of jail.
Labour it appears are rotten ratbags to the core of their DNA.