The perfect line of curly tails has temporarily stopped flicking with pleasure because it seems that the trough of plenty is about to be removed. The squealing and slurping has stopped because the Mama Pig that is the taxpayer needs some respite. There is a real danger of drought – and it is not the drought predicted by the Global Warming Mullahs – it if the financial drought caused by the double-whammy of “on the take” bankers and their avaricious politician chums.
The Home Secretary, Jacqui “Within the rules” Smith, argues that she has done nothing wrong and she is right. What about hanging? That also used to be within the rules – did that make it right? Within living memory there were those who were “following orders”. Were they right?
The debate is one of morality and not political chauvinism. If you are caught with both hands in the cookie jar – don’t blame the jar.
There have been many debates as to the merits of electing politicians who are financially “independent” – those who do not see politics as a “nice little earner”. Many are “at it” in the Commons and no doubt some are at it in the House of Lords. Why are they at it? They are at it because many of them are about to enter the last 12 months of comparative plenty. Nests need to be feathered before the arrival of their personal political winter. For many, this is the most that they will ever earn.
It is interesting to note that of the top 20 MPs claiming for second homes (The Independent yesterday), 14 are Labour. All are from outer-London and the surrounding area because they are allowed to claim Additional Costs Allowance. The ACA is discretionary – it is not compulsory.
Needless to say, there has been yet more fancy footwork from Gordon Brown, followed by yet another disturbance in the long grass as Sir Christopher Kelly and the Committee on Standards in Public Life are mobilised.
By the time that they complete their ruminations, it may well have been cheaper to leave well alone.