I feel Linda Riordan is being unfairly pilloried for her expenses claim and I don’t believe greed or dishonesty is relevant here.
There is a fundamental problem in the way we remunerate our elected representatives. The pay does not adequately reflect the responsibility and workload that a conscientious MP carries. I don’t know Linda Riordan personally and certainly I would not vote for her simply because any New Labour candidate would fail to secure my vote. Linda Riordan has dealt with an issue I raised with her and I found her to be a conscientious and responsive MP. I believe the remuneration for a run of the mill MP is about £65,000 per annum. Compare that to how much MEPs receive and how much other European countries pay their representatives. Compare it to how much other public servants like BBC executives receive. I believe the Director General of the BBC receives a basic salary package about 4 times the salary of the Prime Minister. One wonders how that can be especially having witnessed the pathetic show given by George Entwistle before a Parliamentary committee. Unless an MP has a private source of income he/she is going to struggle on their salary so I consider it unfair to lambast Linda Riordan for gaining some extra money within the rules laid down by Parliament. Change the rules if they don’t work. Give Linda Riordan a break. She is a good MP.