Elliot Morley MP did not “made a mistake” when he fraudulently claimed £800 per month for a non-existent mortgage. Likewise, Andrew MacKay MP and his wife and fellow MP, Julie Kirkbride knew exactly what they were doing when they were claiming for two “second homes”. Two Labour Lords have allegedly been exposed as a couple of crooks who were willing to take cash in exchange for altering Laws. Again, these were not mistakes.
The “It was within the Rules” mantra is no longer being trotted out because MPs have realised that Rules express no moral or ethical responsibilities. Chequebooks are being waved about, yet only just over £100,000 has been pledged by increasingly panicked MPs who are not promising the return of cash through any sense of “right-and wrong” because it’s far too late for that. They ignored the concept of right and wrong and because they have been caught with their closed hands in the till, their self-preservation instinct has kicked-in.
Andrew MacKay has fallen on his sword in order to save his wife’s career because his has peaked. She should now be nailed as “accessory” and also asked to resign.
That bug-eyed louche, professional Mr Clever-pants, Peter Ustinov wannabe and Royal butt-kisser Stephen Fry has offered an opinion and believes that it is all a storm-in-a-teacup and that “we’ve all done it”. No we haven’t Stephen. Mind you, Stephen’s been banged up for naughtiness so his judgement will always be suspect and hopefully he has learned a good lesson. Never talk to a reporter when you are pissed. At best, you end up sounding like a know-all uber-opinionated cab driver. At worst, an ersatz upper-class prat.
By the end of this week, it will be the end of the beginning for our naughty MP chums but also the beginning of the end for Gorbals Mick (Mr Speaker) and Gordon Brown, the er…Prime Minister.
Brown is currently swaying from foot to foot wondering what to do . We have established that his decision-making is on the dodgy side and that he manages through the joint media of the “enquiry” (Macro Management) and the thrown mobile phone and shouting (Day-to-day or Micro Management). He has probably already exhausted his entire repertoire on this one.
David Cameron has managed to overtake Gordon and will hit the first corner well in the lead because he has made a decision and ordered his MPs to get their chequebooks out and start reimbursing the Public Purse. Gesture Politics at their finest! He too has a surprise coming because this is not about money any more, it is about the authority of our Parliament. Had the Party Leaders managed their troops effectively and had the grand chequebook gesture happened say a year ago the matter would, by now, be at the “tidying-up” stage. Instead we have what looks like a badly-written Crisis Management case study underpinned by empty words and blind panic.
Meanwhile, whilst Cameron is temporarily cooling-off in the calming breeze of two hundred fluttering chequebooks, Gordon does what he knows. He looks in the direction of an enquiry. Any enquiry. The ideal enquiry for him would be a “Please make it go away, Mummy” type.
Meanwhile The Speaker of the House, scarlet jowls quivering as the berates the most upstanding (and innocent) MPs and sees everything that flies in his direction as a personal threat, also does what he does best. He fails to understand the gravity of the crisis.
Make no mistake, the Speaker and Prime Minister are now standing shoulder-to-shoulder on the trapdoor and there will be a massive fight as all hands attempt to pull that lever.
The next stage (hopefully) will be in the hands of the Police and the Inland Revenue.