Wednesday, 30 January 2008

Another day, another sleazy politician

Conway to stand down at next election

No surprise really, is it. And good riddance. But it's hardly in the Hain class; it's just someone over-claiming expenses at the end of the day. And lets face it; snouts in the trough seems to be par for the course when it comes to MPs expenses. But we certainly need clearer rules for MPs. The first is that they should be required to declare payments they make to any members of their family that they claim expenses for, if not prohibit such payments altogether. And secondly, since it's another widespread scam, that there should be an absolute prohibition on claims for rent involving properties that are owned by the MPs concerned (the so-called 'constituency office').

But the fact that a fairly minor Tory MP has been caught dipping his hands in the till shouldn't be allowed to shift the focus away from Peter Hain; it almost beggars belief that he is so short of principle that he would accept money from a supporter of the former National Party in South Africa. Or maybe I'm just naive in thinking that there might be any politicians left in this world who have principles.

It's difficult to see why anyone wanted the Deputy Leader post anyway, unless that they were hoping that Gordon would pop his clogs before too long and they'd find themselves in line for the top job. At least John Cruddas wanted to represent the ordinary party member; the rest are all far too constrained by collective cabinet responsibility to do that so the post is utterly meaningless.

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