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If Brown wants to retire with any dignity at all, he should call an election asap


Could there have been a worse possible time for the MP expenses scandal to break? The recession is in full swing, and even if you’ve not lost your job or had your home repossessed yet, chances are you’re feeling a little anxious about the precarious state of the economy.

At a time like this you’d probably like to know that our elected representatives in government are capable of empathising with our concerns and perhaps even make some sort of gesture of solidarity by tightening up their expenditure. But what do we get instead? Reports of politicians on both sides of the house milking the expenses system for every penny they can get, profiteering from property deals and wriggling through every tax loophole in the book.

What makes it worse is the petulant insistence that they ‘didn’t break the rules’ as if that’s somehow supposed to make us all feel better about it all. Back when we voted the Blair government in, on the promise of a new day of fairness and integrity from our leaders, who would have imagined that same government, albeit with a new prime minister, would preside over such a grubby and sordid episode?

Enough really is enough. You can argue about the two wars of this government, the erosion of civil liberties, whether or not they could have done anything to prevent the economic meltdown, and their abject failure to deliver any of the things we really wanted from a Labour government, but this final insult is one too many.

We trusted them with our future, but they’ve completely failed to deliver anything that could ever justify that trust. It’s just a shame that we’ll have to wait another year to remove them from power.

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