Although I can’t say I’m sorry to see the back of Hazel Blears, I’m slightly alarmed by the way the fall-out from the whole expenses scandal seems to be escalating into the realms of Completely Missing The Point.
This isn’t exactly helped by most of the media, where various events over the last couple of weeks have been identified as the “final nail in the coffin of New Labour” (or something like that). Gordon & Co. have been polishing quite a few contenders for Ultimate Nail all by themselves, but THIS IS NOT IT, okay?
To turn this specific affair into the necessary leverage for removing Labour from government would be unwise, causing the inevitable Tory victory to seem like a purge. Let’s be clear here… some of the most arrogant and profligate wastes of public money occurred in Conservative seats. There’s Bill Cash with his creative offspring-juggling, Bill Wiggins and the mortgage that never was, Douglas Hogg’s moat, Peter Viggers’ Duck Island, Anne Kirkbride and Andrew Mackay with their dual primary residences, countless cases of Capital Gains Tax avoidance and so much more.
I’m not trying to score desperate lefty points here; the Labour MPs have shown a striking lack of ethics as well. What I’m getting at is that this is not a question of party politics, not a reason to win or lose an election. This is something that needs to be completely cleared up and repaired RIGHT NOW, independently of the party system.