Top British wit ridicules MPs' expenses row: 'journalists are hypocrites'

One of the UK's leading comic actors has dismissed the story making the most headlines in Britain - reports of sleaze involving top politicians including prime minister Gordon Brown.

Leaked expenses receipts published by the right-wing Daily Telegraph over the past week have revealed wide-spread fiddling by members of parliament totaling millions of pounds of taxpayers' money. The satirical magazine Private Eye's front page features a photo of a packed House of Commons and lampoons the greedy politicians it pictures with the headline "Swine Fever Hits Britain".

The pig flu epidemic is the bigger story globally.

Comedian Stephen Fry said to a BBC Newsnight television reporter: "It's a journalistic made up frenzy."

He added: "It's not that important, it really isn't."

"Anybody can talk about snouts in troughs and go on about it. For journalists to do so, it is beyond belief. I know more journalists than politicians and I've never met a more venal, disgusting crowd of people when it comes to expenses and allowances. Let's not confuse what politicians get really wrong - things like wars, things where people die - with the rather tedious, bourjeois obsession about whether or not they have charged for their wisteria."

Fry told Michael Crick: "This has been going on for years and suddenly because journalists have discovered (the story) it's the big issue."

Fry admitted that he too had "cheated things and fiddled things" and that the expenses revelations should not cause people to lose faith with politics and stop voting. See the full interview here:



2 Responses to "Top British wit ridicules MPs' expenses row: 'journalists are hypocrites'"


Sat, 05/16/2009 - 18:27
He&#39;s right! Looking at the the mass hysteria in the media, you would think world war 3 had broken out. Tighten up the expense rules and move on. There are worse things happening than MPs&#39; expenses.<br />


Thu, 05/21/2009 - 19:12
<p style="line-height: 16px; font: normal normal normal 14px/normal Courier; margin: 0px">Fry makes a good point, but I think more lies beneath the public&#39;s outrage at MP&#39;s behaviour. I think it is displacement of public fury at their endless dishonesty in discussing any current affair. The spin, subterfuge, line-toeing and dissembling over a couple of decades is what really infuriates us, and with good reason. How often does one hear an honest answer to a reasonable question from a politician?</p><p style="line-height: 16px; font: normal normal normal 14px/normal Courier; margin: 0px">If a Prime Minister is quite happy to lie to the electorate about going to war, creating a totally false premise for doing so, and the House largely goes along with him, why would one trust them?</p><p style="line-height: 16px; font: normal normal normal 14px/normal Courier; margin: 0px">I feel that the expenses scandal is really more a catalyst for the expression of a much deeper distrust.&nbsp; <br /></p>