To my devoted readers it has been a long time away. But where are we now? The credit crunch has crunched, green shoots are wilting because the seed fell on rocks and the mother of all parliaments has imploded. Not much happening out there then? I take the view that the current scandal submerging our elected representatives is, to use that Dickensian term, humbug. The agenda of the Daily Torygraph is that it wants to do maximum damage to the established parties to give a free run to its preferred candidates from the Chingford Liberation Front and the Basildon Independence Party. Bringing down Gordon, giving David (of the self-basting hairstyle) a smack in the eye and humiliating the irrelevant Clegg is excellent return on £100K of chequebook journalism.
The problem we now face is that no one in their right mind would want to become an MP. Its a rubbish job, long hours, whinging constituents, hours travelling, mindless committees, less pay than a junior GP and now the media trampling over their private affairs. We get what we pay for and when mad Maggie decided to give a £20K housing allowance as part of the compensation package this particular scandal was primed and ready to go off. There is a difference between an allowance and expenses - the only nonsense was in demanding receipts (presumably to keep it tax free). Far better to pass it through as a tax free 2nd homes allowance which every one who takes the job is entitled to and leave it at that. How MP's must envy our university Vice Chancellors - they get a 2nd home thrown in with the job, all expenses on the university and with a compliant University Council can award themselves eye-watering salary increases. Now that's what I call a real scandal.