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The expenses scandal is a success story of modern British democracy

By prospect   June 2009

According to Jack Kennedy, the greatest gift a politician can possess is the gift of being forgiven. Barack Obama appears to enjoy a plentiful supply of that gift, as he quietly drops one election pledge after another with barely a murmur of protest. For British parliamentarians forgiveness is in short supply. But contrary to much of the gloomy commentary that has accompanied the expenses scandal of the past few weeks, the episode represents a success story for modern British democracy. New Freedom of Information legislation exposes a parliamentary Spanish practice. The media democracy (on this occasion properly representing public opinion)…

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