Conservative MP Anthony Steen (he has been described as Sir Anthony in many media reports but is apparently not a knight of the shires – see comments below – I have checked his entries in Who’s Who and elsewhere) showed the severe lack of judgement that has led MPs of all parties into the current expenses scandal by giving a splenetic interview yesterday on the BBC’s World At One.
Mr Steen, in his bluster and arrogance, showed he was sorely out of touch with the public mood. Whilst attacking the government for enacting Freedom of Information legislation, and the British people for “jealousy”, and himself for not being “cleverer” (ie being banged to rights) he said that the current situation reminded him of “an episode from Coronation Street”.
I can’t honestly understand what resemblance his situation has to Corrie, or any episode of it I can think of. I remember the time in EastEnders when Arthur Fowler stole the Christmas Club money, but nothing quite like an MPs’ expenses scandal in Corrie.
Have I been watching Corrie all these years and failed to notice a “very, very large house” a few doors down from the Rovers Return? I’m sure the people living in the terraced streets of Weatherfield might have noticed a Balmoral-like estate in their midst, complete with 500 trees.
Or maybe Mr Steen was claiming expenses as a lodger in Coronation Street. The Fees Office, apparently so sympathetic to fictitious domestic arrangements, would probably have approved of that.
But who could be his landlord or landlady? The Weatherfield Gazette should get on the case.
I can’t imagine any Coronation Street resident, accustomed as they are to public scrutiny three nights a week, nodding approvingly if Mr Steen came out with the following in the bar of the Rovers, over a G & T:
“You know what it’s about? Jealousy. I’ve got a very, very large house. What right does the public have to interfere with my private life? None.”
Here are the opening titles to Coronation Street. If you spot a very, very large house that looks like Balmoral, or Mr Steen, or his tree surgeon, let me know.