Archive for June, 2009

A lull before a further storm

The expenses scandal has, some would say at last, been knocked off the headlines.  But it feels to me like a pause in the onslaught.  It is certainly not as a result of the response of politicians.  Last week, we were treated to the reform proposals of the three main party leaders.  But what did they actually say that addressed the issue at hand?  Not a great deal.  So what was going on?

It seems to me that they have used and reinterpreted recent scandals as an opportunity to represent policies as if they were a response to the current sense of crisis.  In doing so and in missing the mark so badly, it appears to me they may even have made things worse.

The elections on Thursday will, I suggest, stir things up once again.  A poor showing from the major parties will start the usual post-election recriminations.  But this time, there will be some serious rethinking.  We have already heard stories of 52 Labour MPs, those who suspect they will lose their seats at the next general election, asking for peerages so they can continue their subsidised lifestyles in the House of Lords.  How many other rats will notice that the ship of state is badly holed below the waterline and think about jumping (or pushing the skipper overboard)?

Sorry for the overworked imagery!