I know that this will involve me stepping out of my made-to-measure comfort zone of pop culture, obscure literary references and knob gags, but I have to confess that this whole MPs’ Expenses Scandal malarkey has left me feeling somewhat bemused. Yes, that’s right, bemused. Not angry, not apoplectic with rage, not even baying for the blood of every front bencher, back bencher or side bencher in the land. It’s just left me feeling somewhat bemused.
Sorry about that.
Maybe its my age. I used to get angry about stuff like this, but I’m fast approaching the tip of the tail-end of my third decade and – while I’m no expert on neurology – I strongly suspect that violent and disproportionately hysterical emotional reactions are bad for one’s blood pressure. Adopting a detached and slightly bemused demeanour seems to do wonders for my endorphin levels. For one thing, I seem to get fewer veins on my forehead.
That’s not to say that the steady eruption of sordid revelations gushing out of Westminster (via the Daily Telegraph) haven’t managed to elicit any negative responses in me whatsoever. I try my best, but I’m only human. I’ve felt the occasional twinge of schadenfreude as I’ve watched a group of individuals who – as far as I can tell – seem habitually inclined to scapegoat other groups of individuals for all of society’s ills become, well, the scapegoat for all of society’s ills. I’m no expert on Eastern Mysticism, but I believe that’s called Karma.
The fact that the British government have increasingly resorted to psychological scare tactics and Orwellian mind-fuckery to discourage the rest of us non-political critters from benefit cheating, TV Licence evading and miscellaneous acts of no-good shit dishonesty doesn’t help. Part of me would like to see an aggressive high profile advertising campaign aimed at the nation’s politicians. It should, of course, be meticulously designed so as to create an overwhelming sense of paranoia and mistrust in the target audience. Stark black and white imagery, distressed jump cuts and a final lingering shot on an expenses claim form should do the trick. Maybe throw in a catchy slogan like: “There’s no second home allowance in Jail” or “What’s that really worth, you patronising bastard?”
For the most part, though, I try to be bemused.