Some MPs wanted fewer edits

A number of MPs wanted to reveal a greater amount of information regarding their expenses claims than was left after the heavy editing to which the details published by Parliament was subject, with a House of Commons Commission spokesperson saying that "You could not have one MP being more open than another, they had all to be the same."

Bob Marshall Andrews, Labour MP for Medway, and chief whip Nick Brown both sought to have redactions other than those subject to data protection laws removed, feeling that this greater transparency would prevent some claims from being misconstrued if the circumstances surrounded them were unclear. However, a look at what has been published reveals that officials responsible for the editing must have got through several truckloads of black marker pens - there's almost as many big black blocks as there is useful information.

The Mother of Parliaments is almost unrecognisable under vast expanses of thick, black ink.
Image adapted from one at Wikipedia, used in accordance with GNU Free Documentation License.

Many people have expressed dissatisfaction at what has been made available, feeling that the Commons is trying to prevent us from getting the full story in a desperate effort to protect what little is left of their reputation following what has become the biggest Parliamentary scandal in many years.

Although MPs have been informed that, should they wish to do so, they can publish further details themselves on their websites, many people are now going to think that those who were prevented from revealing as much as they wished to do were forced to submit to the Commission's will only in order to prevent the electorate from finding out about those members with something to hide.

The days when the British population assumed good faith, and would accept that information witheld by Parliament was held back for reasons in our own best interests, are long gone. On the other hand, if the Government continues to make decisions such as this one and their similar reluctance to hold the inquiry into the Iraq War in public, they will increasingly be less likely to return - so at least some good may yet come of the scandal.

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