There are two ways to look at the revelations about MPs allegedly upsetting staff tasked with setting up the new expenses system. Outwardly, one can easily picture MPs as rude, impatient and insensitive. On the other hand, in recent years, civil servants (and council workers) seem to have been trained to use sensitivity as a shield against criticism. They will say that the slightest rise in tone makes them feel ‘uncomfortable’. In much the same way as diversity trainers view everything in terms of race, say, staff members will interpret any emotion stronger than vague geniality as threatening.

So yes, Dennis McShane may be an arrogant brute, but as Billy Bragg said, ‘remember, there are two sides to every story’…

Swearing MPS abuse staff ‘monkeys’ – Evening Standard