There was a brief moment in the life of the Rotten Parliament when catharsis was possible, when MPs were genuinely on the back foot and reform was possible. Day after day the 'Telegraph' catalogued more John Lewis grapefruit bowls, more Remembrance Day wreaths, more petty theft, peculation, avarice and corruption. But never under-estimate the capacity of the political class to pull together, man the ramparts and defend their isolated privilege. A few mavericks were thrown to the dogs, a few thousands were repaid, and now one has to dig in the Telegraph files to expose some young thruster lecturing the public on hard work as having charged his family's duvets to the taxpayer's purse.
The other week we were told that all MPs had to be issued with new iPads. Now Cameron is reneging on his election promise to reform MPs' pensions. Next week no doubt will see an increase in their expenses ceilings and the necessary uprating of their stipend to meet rapidly rising costs of living. And they're still looking for a bad news day to announce tax funding for their dying private metropolitan clubs. I estimate total current membership of the Big Three as follows;
With a UK electorate (not population) of 45m, that's fewer than 1% of voters.
In the recent local elections, 68% of voters abstained, demonstrating not 'apathy' but utter uninterest in the introverted pissing-about of the privileged few. At a time when every worker, every family, every retired or non-active Briton's concentration on economic matters is absolute these tossers spend Parliamentary time on Lords reform. gay weddings, the design of fag packets, increasing booze taxes and general prodnosing and data theft.
Hannan and Carswell who pompously and falsely claimed to have 'discovered' Localism have shown their true colours; Carswell having fought to make MPs' addresses a secret sits solidly amongst the privileged, whilst an unprecedented piece of whiny brown-nosing by Hannan at the weekend, like a naughty Spaniel on the doorstep, signals he wants to be inside with his mates when the mess hits the fan. And not a peep out of either of them as Boy Dave trashes his own Localism promises in favour of Whitehall's Command and Control model. It didn't take long, Dave, did it?
The Conservative party lost over a million members between 1979 and 1997, at a time when the Tories were in office. Norman Tebbit is about the only Tory who keeps asking where they are, pointing out that they're still out here, we're still out here. Waiting.