13 May 2009

David Cameron finds the solution the PM takes the credit

David Cameron announced a very comprehensive plan to sort out the expenses problem for the Consrvatives last night. Then the PM copied it and seems to be taking the credit. It is really disappointing. Gordon has dithered, Dave was decisive.

I am also unsure how the PM can punish MPs. It seems that they acted within the rules, even if not within the spirit of them. So Parliament has no power, whereas David Cameron and the whips can withdraw the whip - Gordon Brown's announcement may prove to be toothless. It will be interesting to see how it pans out.


22 April 2009

Brown's Plans for Expenses Reform

Gordon Brown announced his own ideas for a very quick change to MPs expenses yesterday. The fact this was a quick turnaround from his previous decision to wait for the outcome of a review has already been discussed elsewhere, but I am interested in his motives.

I am deeply suspicious that hte major part of his proposed changes, that of an attendance allowance, is an idea copied from the European Parliament which, amongst right minded politicians, has a worse reputation in terms of "the Gravy Train", than Westminster.

I wonder if Gordon Brown's thinking is to propose a change that is unacceptable to the opposition so that he can portray himself as the good guy to the public and to paint the Lib Dems and Conservatives as the bad guys if and when they vote against.

So, a change that is about securing political advantage rather than doing the right thing. That would be the New Labour way.