We're closing in...

At the end of my road there is a bus stop. For ages it had a poster slapped on the side of it which featured a rather rotund woman on it. Accompanying this image were the words 'We're closing in' and an encouragement for members of the public to dob in benefit cheats. Helpfully a hotline was provided for said dobbing-in purposes.

Now, forgive me if I'm wrong but it looked suspiciously like the woman on the poster in question was yes, poor, and dear me, coming out of a house on a council estate. Ah, I get it now - the people who are ripping off the system are without exception poor and they live in council estates.

I never liked this campaign, because at the same time that I was encountering these posters, I seemed to be reading more and more about this little thing called the credit crunch, caused by insanely wealthy bankers, who flagrantly abused the system to the point where it collapsed and had to be bailed out by the taxpayer - and there was a distinct lack of posters critical of them.

It all seemed pretty hypocritical to me then, but it seems incredibly hypocritical now. The expenses scandal has highlighted that the political class which organised this campaign and paid for it with, yes, taxpayers' money were, dear me, benefit thieves themselves.

(Incidentally I don't know why I'm saying 'dear me' a lot - perhaps I have had a pint too many and I'm overdoing the incredulity. Apologies.)

Right, so now that it has become clear that the money that I thought I was paying in tax to fund, you know, things like schools and hospitals is also bankrolling duck islands, moat-cleaning, property 'flipping', taxi-rides to Celtic games, capital gains tax avoidance, gardening costs, porno films, porticos, helipads, nappies and plasma TVs, I fully expect my bus shelter to feature a publicly-funded poster of my local MP looking shifty and being closed in on. And I don't want them to forget the hotline either.