What did not exist, in that department, in those days, was an ethos of fraud.
A couple of decades later I was unfortunate enough to work for a railway company. The situation was quite the reverse. Almost everybody stole from the company, including my boss, who departed, with a clean sheet, when he was eventually found out. Almost on day one I was advised on how to steal from the system.
So, there does not have to be a climate of fraud in any corporation. The extent to which it occurs is premised on whether those in charge will do anything about it, and of course, if everybody is at it, those who choose to be honest can get a rough ride. I reported a colleague who tried to get me to steal, during my first week there. He was "questioned" by my corrupt boss and eventually moved with a promotion. I would probably have kept quiet, but I was pressured to defraud and that was a bridge too far.
Well, if I can do it, how come our MPs cannot? It is clear there was a climate of laxity at best, and at worst, an encouragement to steal. Theft is for people who are weak, for people who are essentially sociopathic. So it is all the more worrying that our Parliament was complicit in mass fraud, and it took a newspaper to reveal it and get something done.
Today we see the jailing of a former Labour Minister. The judge's summing up is damning:
Passing sentence, Mr Justice Saunders said Morley was guilty of "blatant dishonesty" and had "thrown away his good name and character."
He said: "I am satisfied from the nature of the mortgage transactions and the correspondence that the excessive claims were made deliberately and are not explicable even in part by oversight."(Telegraph)
Elliot Morley simply failed to apply normal standards of morality to his job. What is much worse is that there are still many who, for reasons that are inexplicable, have not been arrested and charged, most of them are Labour. It is clear that the Labour goverment had 13 years to address this issue and ignored it right up until election time, making sure that any prosecutions would arise after the vote.
I am aware of some Labour politicians who were never involved. Sadly, they have chosen to stay very quiet over the issue, probably because of party loyalty. It makes you wonder if there was ever one man or woman among them who had the guts to speak out. Apparently not.
Will anything like this ever happen again in our Government? Evil shape-shifts. Wickedness is a rat run. The authorities have plugged one hole, but there will be many others. I behoves the Government to be vigilant, swift and moral.