Sweeping them up is simply a waste of time, like trying to blow away mist, pointless. I will wait until the trees are totally bare before I start the task. Autumn is in full swing, the nights are drawing in, soon the clocks will go back, the mercury has dropped below 10c and in the UK Parliament has resumed.
Yesterday all sitting MPs received a letter.
In a strange fantasy I see them grouped together in some cloistered hall opening each envelope, giddy as students on exam result day. Some would whoop excitedly as they receive the ok from Sir Thomas Legg, some less fortunate would be walking around dejectedly, smiling bravely as they figure out what they will say to the waiting press pack salivating outside.
The reality, I am sure, is somewhat different but what has really surprised me is their reaction. I could understand such a defiant response had this been the first time the words: parliament, expenses, excess, shameful and duck houses had been used. This comes, as we all know, after a summer of excruciating details and public humiliation for pretty much every MP. If the public were to vote just now on the basis of trust Ann Widdecombe would become our first President.
I think we can all agree, regardless of party loyalty this is a truly frightening proposition.
Yes: You probably did claim for expenses within the rules and did nothing legally wrong.
Yes: Sir Thomas Legg probably did go beyond the remit of his summer job.
Yes: The rules have been changed retrospectively.
Yes: Legally this probably has no weight.
Yes: It is unfair.
Yes: You should just shut the fuck up and pay them.
Trust has been destroyed and petty squabbling over a few thousand pound will do nothing to restore it. Don’t worry, give it a year or two, let the noise die down and normal “good old days” business can resume – remember you can vote for it yourself. Just give us something to believe in please, at this moment there is precious little – daily some brave young man is being blown to bits in Afganistan, the country debt is well beyond record levels and you are arguing about your leaf sweeping bills.
This is one of the few times in recent history that I have found myself being more embarrassed about how my home nation is perceived than my wife and she hails from the great Satan itself – America!
Take a leaf out of my book and pick them up yourself, its much quieter.