In a year when political stories and scandals have peaked and have tested the absolute patience and understanding of the general public, it should really be no surprise whatsoever that Gordon’s Grand Plan for sorting out the expenses saga is to give MP’s a pay rise to compensate them for loss of earnings from the inevitable cull in expenses that is likely to be recommended by Sir Christopher Kelly.
MPs are on notice, they are facing an election next year and where some are standing down, many will not be getting the chance to return as they are thrown out of their jobs by an angry electorate. So, why exactly does any MP deserve a pay rise in the last seven or eight months of a Parliament?
Let me be clear here, my feelings and my reading of public opinion is staunchly that £64,766 for MP’s who are not in the cabinet is more than enough and that given the betrayal of trust that has been exposed there are plenty of people who are willing to stand for Parliament who agree that £64,766 is enough. If there is any pay rise corresponding to the withdrawal of MP expenses then it should only be for those who are able to face their constituencies and secure a new mandate to be in Parliament AFTER a General Election.
It is becoming increasingly clear that as Labour get closer to the election and the nearer they get to slipping from power, possibly forever, they are becoming more and more prepared to go against public opinion to do what they like, and what suits them. On the score of MP’s expenses and salary there are a lot of Labour MP’s heading for the exits, why would people without principle act in with principle by doing what is best for their constituents, or for their country. To whom do these constituents look to? Whatever did happen to the notion of honourable gentlemen? (and honourable ladies, of course)?
Brown is acting from fear (again), and senses there will be wide spread rebellion in the coming months if he cannot buy of Labour MP’s to keep them in line; if he can’t keep them in line Parliament cannot function and an election would be necessary.
We need EDM 2090, or something like it so that constituents can select their candidates and we need a General Election. This Parliament is dead, and all the news and all the initiative that come in the following months will be accompanied by a decaying stench that will be ever-present to whatever it is attached.