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Dispatches - The Westminster Gravy Train
Sunday, 19th April 2009
7pm to 8pm
In May 2008, freedom-of-information campaigner Heather Brooke won a court battle that should have prompted the release of all politicians' expense claims. A year later, with those expenses still to be published and the flow of leaked information ever increasing, Heather studies the information that is available to piece together a forensic insight into how public money is being spent.
As well as a series of apparent inconsistencies and hard-to-explain expense claims, Dispatches investigates the controversial role of patronage and lobbying in both the House of Commons and the House of Lords - to what extent can this serve personal rather than public interests?
The programme also shows the damage that has been caused by protracted delays in releasing MPs full expenses, and asks how harmful these claims may be to the reputation of Parliament and its members.
And this is all very dramatic and should be of public concern. But the show fails to mention that by any international comparison that the UK has one of the world's least corrupt parliaments. Just ask an Italian, a Frenchman or an American what some of their elected representatives get up to.
Me, I figure that a lot of the premise behind the show stems from jealousy. Now if only the list for kitting out MPs second homes had been the Argos list rather than the John Lewis' list, then half of the kerfuffle would never have happened.
=== File Information ===
File Name: Dispatches - The Westminster Gravy Train.avi
Duration: 00:48:55 (73,365 fr)
File Size: 379 MB (or 388,848 KB or 398,180,352 bytes) bytes
=== Video Information ===
Video Codec Name: XviD
Video Bitrate: 946 kb/s
Bits / Pixel: 0.172 bits/pixel
Resolution: 624x352 (1.77:1) [=39:22]
Frames Per Second: 25.000 fps
=== Audio Information ===
Audio Codec: 0x0055(MP3) ID'd as MPEG-1 Layer 3
Audio Bitrate: 131 kb/s (65/ch, stereo) VBR LAME3.90
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