It used to be 'sort of accepted' that the odd rogue MP would claim for the odd scurrilous taxi fare but that the numbers of these rogue MPs were countable on the fingers of one hand and were generally kept under check by their Whips' offices.
Now the system of corruption, fraud, and embezzlement, is ingrained and runs right to the top.
Take Gordon Brown, for example, the First Lord of the Treasury and Prime Minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
As one of the highest-paid politicians in the land, with a mightily generous pension coming his way, and as a hair-shirted socialist 'Son of the Manse', you might have imagined that he would be spending all night reading Das Kapital or The Bible for inspiration, rather than sitting up with a spreadsheet trying to maximise his claims with fancy pivot tables and goal-seeking 'What If?' analyses.
But no, you would be wrong. Because given his situation, if you had been able to claim a penny more than he has over the last five years, you would have been quite rightly handed an honorary degree in space-time physics from Oxford University, such is the deviousness with which he has maximised his income at our expense.
Thankfully, someone of honour has released all of the expense claims of every MP going back five years, including Gordon Brown's, to let the rest of us know how these tax eaters have been pigging out on money stolen from the rest of us via the criminal taxation machine that they run.
(I don't know who you are, sir (or madam), but thank you.)
The Daily Telegraph is going to be slowly releasing all of these details over the next week or so, in the face of BBC and Labour Party spinning, to make sure that we know the full depths of this petty fraudulent corruption, carried out by crooks who say to themselves that they 'deserve it' for all of the 'hard work' that they do for the rest of us, but who know deep down that they are rattish pick-pockets whose only justification is that 'everyone else is doing it, including the Prime Minister and the Chancellor, so why shouldn't I?'.
(To follow the fun and games, as AngloAustria is currently based on a plane somewhere over Iran, the best place to follow this will be Guido Fawkes' place.)
PS> Speculation rife on Fawkes' blog that this has been a deliberate 'leak' by the government, to get all the bad news out early, before the June elections, in agreement for having the Tories' dirty linen washed last, just before said elections. If this is the case, then I take back my hat tip to the 'leaker' - i.e. Mandlebum - however, just like all government initiatives, if that was the plan, then this will backfire spectacularly for Brown, because some rogue detail they forgot to think about will make this plan blow up in their faces. If, on the other hand, this remains an unofficial 'leak' (as I suspect), then the hat tip stays in situ.