As if ‘sexting’ a teenager wasn’t scandalous enough, MP Simon Danczuk made things even worse by allegedly charging the cost of his actions to taxpayers. The invoice claims the payments are for parliamentary media relations work completed over the Christmas period, but the public has reason to believe otherwise.
For starters, the bill came just three days after Danczuk was suspended over his ‘sexting’ affair with a 17-year-old. Over the Christmas break, Danczuk also faced serious criticism after partying with his girlfriend at the time, at a local bar, while 500 homes and over 100 businesses were flooded.
In spite of all this, Danczuk is confident he will return to work soon and continues to swear his innocence. In his mind – or at least he wants the public to believe it – he has done nothing wrong.
With more politicians coming under fire for unethical behavior, Danczuk only worsens the perception the media and the public holds of government officials. No taxpayer wants to pay for a politician’s bad behavior, especially as it relates to their personal life and sexual affairs.
It becomes even worse when the true reason for the use of government funds is not disclosed, though this is certainly not something any public official would openly admit.
Going forward, Danczuk should consider greater transparency, by first acting so transparency doesn’t cause any further scandal. After all, transparency with his phone conversations between him and a teenager looking for work is what led to his current problems.
Paying for Mistakes
While it’s certainly acceptable that he should see the need for PR services at a time of crisis like he experienced over that Christmas, Danczuk should have paid that bill on his own and the government should have declined to pay for it, though handling his bad press certainly helped to preserve their good name.
Not for long though, as Danczuk later threatened to take legal action against his party, citing that their treatment of him during the investigation was inappropriate. He claimed the party gave no reason for his suspension; nor did they explain how long he could expect to be out.
At the time, the party refused to comment on the suspension, since the police were also investigating Danczuk – this time, for an alleged rape in 2006. Once again Danczuk declared his innocence and expressed confidence he would be cleared.
As Danczuk continues to manipulate the legal system – and apparently even public relations – for his personal benefit, it will only generate more bad press to tarnish his good name. In doing so, even the invoice charged to government officials may go to waste with all the negative publicity sure to follow his alleged bad deeds.