@StephenFry on journalists’ own ‘venal and disgusting’ use of expenses

Via @LouiseBolotin: The transcript of comments made by Stephen Fry in an interview on the BBC News site:

“Although, of course, anybody can talk about snouts in troughs, and go on about it, for journalists to do so is almost beyond belief, beyond belief.

I know lots of journalists; I know more journalists than I know politicians.

And I’ve never met a more venal and disgusting crowd of people when it comes to expenses and allowances.

[Interviewer: “Not all of us surely?”]

Not all, but then not all human beings are either. I’ve cheated expenses. I’ve fiddled things. You have. ‘Course you have.

Let’s not confuse what politicians get really wrong. Things like wars, things where people die, with the rather tedious bourgeois obsession with whether or not they’ve charged for their wisteria.

It’s not that important. It really isn’t. It isn’t what we’re fighting for. It isn’t what voting is about.

And the idea that ‘oh we’ve all lost faith in politics, because’… it’s nonsense. It’s a journalistic made-up frenzy.”

Louise Bolotin, a freelance journalist, has written a response on her blog – she says Fry has got it badly wrong. Here’s an extract:

“I have news for Stephen. The expenses culture for journalists ended a long time ago – at least 10 years ago – when the accountants moved in and put an end to it. The scandal at the Houses of Parliament, however, has been going on a long time – only MPs can vote on their expense allowances and they just keep voting to continue.”

4 thoughts on “@StephenFry on journalists’ own ‘venal and disgusting’ use of expenses

  1. JD

    Whatever and whenever there is abuse of expenses claims, the difference here is that I don’t pay journalists expenses. I DO however pay MPs expenses through taxes.

    No-one should be allowed to profit through their expenses. MPs especially. There is a complete lack of transparency, honesty and morality here from the people in whom we choose to represent us.

    Comparisons with others are irrelevant and distracting from the real issue.

    MPs should be above this whereas in fact some (if not many) appear to see it as a way of simply and covertly supplementing income.


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  3. phil_style

    I agree with Fry overall. so his compairson wasn’t perfectly apt. Comparisons never are.

    Fry’s overall thrust is that this whole ‘scandal’ (with whatever stupid “gate” the media wants to attach to it,in their typically unintelligent fashion) is a distraction from caring about the real political issues of our time.

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