Depressingly informative

Please note that the following contains inadvertently posted erroneous information. Although this was realised soon after posting, it is left up for reasons expounded upon in its follow-up, which should be read in conjunction.
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A friend recently E-mailed me the following, which I found interesting enough to pass on. So, if you haven’t seen these figures before…

… imagine working for a company that has a little more than 600 employees and has the following employee statistics:

  • 29 have been accused of spouse abuse
  • 7 have been arrested for fraud
  • 9 have been accused of writing bad cheques
  • 17 have directly or indirectly bankrupted at least 2 businesses
  • 3 have done time for assault
  • 71 cannot get a credit card due to bad credit
  • 14 have been arrested on drug-related charges
  • 8 have been arrested for shoplifting
  • 21 are currently defendants in lawsuits
  • 84 have been arrested for drink driving in the last year
  • …and collectively, last year alone, they cost the British tax payer £92,993,748 in expenses.

Which organisation is this?

It’s the 635 members of the House of Commons, the same group that cranks out hundreds of new laws each year designed to keep the rest of us in line.

And just to top all that they probably have the best ‘corporate’ pension scheme in the country.

Okay, that’s parliament; so let’s not invoke any of this for our own respective party-political position. Should we expect them to be spotlessly clean? (Well, that depends, I suppose, on who says what to us, on which issues.) Got me thinking, though. These are the ones who didn’t get away with it. Look around you, at all your earnest, polite, industrious scientific colleagues, and wonder at what you don’t know about them. Are we incorruptible? Or would we pull a fast one given the opportunity and temptation?

12 responses to “Depressingly informative

  1. Wow.
    “Should we expect them to be spotlessly clean?”
    I don’t think it’s too much to ask that the people responsible for making the laws of the country, abide by the laws of the country.
    Having said that, most of the items in your list either aren’t crimes (bad credit), or at least aren’t proven crimes (accusations, arrests and defendants in lawsuits – all = presumed innocent). But you can seriously serve as an MP if you’ve actually done time? I didn’t know that and would have assumed it would bar you from being an MP.

  2. Yeah. It’s kind of laughable, although it isn’t really funny. But, as you point out, most of it is ‘unproven’ (but then, they likely have access to good lawyers.)
    On the ‘done time’ thing – I wrote ‘parliament’, although I meant all ‘parties.’ Parliament, of course, includes the House of Lords, where at least one former convict is sitting pretty.

  3. Is this true? Really? huh.
    Thinking about it though, there are people convicted and time served at political functions in Sweden too. We have a low tolerance for the drunk driving though… you almost always have to take a time out and go to rehab.
    As of what Cath’s talking about, I’m more on the fence when it comes to “pending investigations” since that sort of shows something in the present time…. time served is still time served and in past. (I have to hope people can change, right)
    And no, I don’t think it should be all that strange to assume that people in charge or legislating and governing should be held to (at least) the same standards as the rest of us “regular people who have never been convicted or even investigated for fraud etc”

  4. interesting thing apart from that. Apart form the numbers I am sure that you’d find “law breakers” in every job out there. And that might be good to remember when one is going at it…. like “let the innocent cast the first stone” in some situations at least ;)

  5. I guess it’s been resurrected again since the recent expenses scandal. But look at the numbers: imagine over a third of our MPs misbehaving! But a lot of their expense claims were legit – under the rules. Should we be so suspicious of them? Why do we vote for people we instinctively don’t trust?

  6. _Which organisation is this?
    It’s the 635 members of the House of Commons, the same group that cranks out hundreds of new laws each year designed to keep the rest of us in line._
    >

  7. well, polls and catchy stats that is.
    on the other hand, i can still think of handfuls of top politicians/world leaders who’ve been arrested, accused of fraud etc. (recent Canadian PMs, premiers, US presidents…)

  8. Hey, thanks Linda. Please read (if you’re interested) this post in conjunction with its follow-up. I guess The Guardian doesn’t always print crap. Although, with yesterday’s news, it may turn out that the E-mail is not so, err, irrelevant.

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