The revelations of MP's expenses is perhaps the final nail in the coffin of public confidence in Westminster; all reference to it should now be buried and it needs a proper wake. It also needs to be replaced and that means MPs need to do something. it is something of a travesty that parties and MPs have been saying that the publishing of expenses is going to be 'embarrassing'; the easy comment to make is if it could be embarrassing then why claim for 'a bath plug' etc. Then there is the grotesque sight of MPs squirming on camera saying it was within the letter of the law; suggesting perhaps a 26p wooden spoon is essential for one MP to carry out their work - are they HoC cook perhaps? The rules are of course wrong. Half the country commutes some distance and cannot claim expenses for doing so, they hope their wage will cover that along with all the other bills. Most of us pay for our own home improvements, not it seems MPs, hence these inequities further demonstrate the disconnect between our houses and the Houses of Parliament. This will not be forgotten and it needs action, reform certainly and a reform that puts MPs in the same bracket as the man in the street, but also this needs resolving. If those MPs who have acted within the letter, but not the spirit of the law, cannot appear on camera (or YouTube, or in public letter) and explain their claims to the penny as part of the job as an MP they should resign. I am sure there are many who would like to become MPs, but perhaps a few less than previously if the gravy train is to run out, lets have by-elections or a general election if there are too many and have a new set of representatives with a new set of rules. Of course the problem is that only MPs can decide if this will happen and turkeys are unlikely to vote for Christmas, but if they want to create a new confidence in politics it needs doing and all those with guilty secrets that are difficult to justify should go now!
Cartoon is by Matt of the Telegraph