Once again the nation is in uproar about the wrong subject. The media and private conversations are discussing the claiming of excessive expenses by Members of Parliament and that is being described as a crisis for democracy.
Unfortunately, the more that the topic is discussed, the more the issues become blurred. The politicians are putting the focus on the changing of the rules. A new Speaker and independent oversight of the mechanisms of Parliament will fix everything, they imply. They would be delighted for the populace to once again get distracted and then bored by the whole debate.
The more that the new rules are discussed the less emphasis is placed on questioning the integrity of those who abused the system by following the rules but not the morality. Moreover the latest proposals still show financial support for mortgages on second homes being acceptable but do MPs need to own a second home for any better reason than increasing personal wealth?
The more that the new rules are discussed, the more technical and detailed is the nature of the debate and the big swell of opinion eases. It is a bit like having a long term injury – you gradually get used to it and think of other things instead.
The question is whether the honest of our politicians is the most important issue we should be addressing as a nation?
Instead, ask these questions:
How much longer will the UK be the fifth largest economy?
Who is picking up the debts being incurred as a result of the bank rescues and stimulus packages and what will they want in return?
Those who lived through previous financial downturns will remember how the nation was ordered what to do by outsiders in the shape of the International Monetary Fund. If you do not remember it, then it is worth doing some research.