Monday, 7 March 2011
What the hell was he thinking? Part 2.
When the story of the Westminster expenses scandal first broke, David Cameron was praised for his swift response. He insisted that money had to be repaid, that the worst offenders would be de-selected and any MP named by the Daily Telegraph would have to hold a public meeting to explain their actions to voters.
So how did that all turn out? Well, Chipping Barnet MP Theresa Villiers was named by the Telegraph, but she never held a public meeting to explain to taxpayers why they should have to pay for her second home, even though she lives just 12 miles from Westminster. Her punishment for defying her party leader was to be made a Government Minister on a salary of £98,740 a year. That taught her a lesson.
It has now been reported that Douglas Hogg, who by name and deed epitomised the very worst of the abuse by claiming £2,000 to have his moat cleaned, was turned down for a peerage by the Lords Appointments Commission on the grounds that he was not a suitable candidate given his outrageous claims. But who decided to nominate this eminently unsuitable person for elevation to the Lords? Why, none other than Prime Minister David Cameron.
What the hell was he thinking? Did he think the public would not find out? Or does he really think that greedy parasites like Hogg actually deserve a place in the Upper House? This is not the first occasion when Cameron’s judgment has been called into question. He failed to sack George Osborne over the incident on the Russian yacht with snake oil salesman Lord Mandelson. He failed to sack the seriously deluded Vince Cable over his Murdoch rant which left taxpayers with a multi million pound bill as his department had to be reorganised.
In the forthcoming referendum, Mr Cameron is campaigning against any change to the voting system. On this point he is correct - there is absolutely no point in changing first-past-the-post when the fault lies elsewhere. It is not the voting system which annoys the public. It is the calibre of people who stand for election that is the real issue.
Until decent, honest, reliable and trustworthy people are elected to the echelons of power, the public will continue to have nothing but contempt for the political classes.