Bent government minister Maria Miller fiddled £90,000 of our tax money to fund a house for her parents. So inured have we become to theft, fraud, peculation and sleaze amongst our politicians that there is no public astonishment that Miller is allowed to continue in her government post, let alone that she is not facing the sort of criminal charges that any one of her constituents would face if they'd defrauded their employers of this sort of sum. The greasy immunity of the political class from the laws that apply to the rest of us kicks in.
In the early 17th century the polarisation of the nobility and the newly wealthy commonality led to a civil war that ended the last vestiges of feudal government. In the early 19th century the ascendancy of the winners of 1688 - wealthy merchants, landowners, the professional classes, householders, the Church and army, well-done-by commoners all - was challenged by the disenfranchised commonality, the labourers, cottagers and boarders. At the start of the 21st the conflict lines are forming again. On the one side the out-of-touch political class and the dying parties, the international corporates and a mandarinate and bureaucracy serving the interests of both, on the other a mass of disenfranchised and disadvantaged consumers and taxpayers hungry for change.
There are those who look for conspiracies. There are none. There is no secret compact between the government, Common Purpose and Coca-Cola, just shared advantage. Likewise there is no secret conspiracy between UK Uncut and the Editor of the Daily Telegraph, just a shared interest in exposing and publicising the immoral advantages enjoyed by the other side, amongst them the deeply corrupt Maria Miller.
Gordon Brown was stupid enough to believe that he could redefine the concept of 'fairness' towards a definition based on enforced equality of outcome. His efforts fell as flat as a lead balloon. We, the British people, already have a deep, inherent and instinctive understanding of fairness; it's one of the characteristics of our nation. Not only 'a fair go' but 'a fair say' and 'a fair do'. The movement for change and reform in the 21st century, as in the 17th and the 19th, is for addressing the unfairness and immorality that has accrued in the system. Maria Miller and her sort may be the last cohort of professional politicians who enjoy immunity from jail.