'Can MPs recover from expenses row?
Can politicians recover from the expenses row?
The Speaker of the House of Commons is to make a statement to MPs on Monday, amid growing calls for him to quit over the expenses scandal. Has politics been permanently damaged?
The Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg has called for Michael Martin to resign while MPs from all parties have signed a motion of no confidence.
After the latest revelations in the Daily Telegraph, Downing Street says an inquiry will be launched into claims that Labour MP Ben Chapman was given permission to claim allowances for mortgage interest he no longer paid.
Have you lost faith in politicians? How can MPs regain your trust? Is it enough to pay back the money claimed on expenses? Have these revelations put you off voting?'
When the general public and the massed ranks of the underemployed, over excitable big media get over their flamboyant hysteria over this 'scandal', there may well be some red faces. From so many angles, this is a non-story. Britain has ceded something like 84% of its sovereignty to the EU. That means that Westminster parliamentarians are responsible for the other 16%. Which by my reckoning makes them pretty unimportant, apart from the residual affection the public have for their legacy parliament. Even if our MP's are complete rubbish, it doesn't really matter to Britain. We are governed from Brussels, Strasbourg and Frankfurt. Enormously greater sums of money are wasted by the EU institutions than our 569 MPs.
Enormously greater sums of money are wasted by the grotesquely bloated UK government, with all its massive benefit regimes, quangos and socialist boondoggles. But since the Tories stopped discussing socialism in public, those topics have disappeared completely from public discourse in Britain. Now, apart from a few lonely voices like Daniel Hannan, the statist world-view envelopes all. Discussing a few hundred pounds of expenses when hundreds of billions of our wealth are disappearing down the toilet is not just obtuse- its obscene. I tell you what- we'll get back to discussing the MP's expenses just as soon as the state is removed from education provision, health provision, 'job creation', enabling dependent lifestyles and fixing the economic playing field.