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Everyone Must Go

Most people accept that their representatives need an office. They are fine with MPs needing to employ staff to help them do their job. Yet British politicians appear to believe they are entitled to a whole lot more. They have claimed expenses for, among other things, a trouser press, a carrier bag, an underground heating installation system for a swimming pool, and for a mortgage that had been paid off.

The saddest thing about about the MPs' expenses scandal is that those of us who saw politics as a noble profession have been left with their innocence shattered. No longer are low expectations the preserve of conspiracy theorists, or to those of a cynical persuasion. Feelings of incredulity and of anger are bubbling up in the most placid of people, so despairing are they of a political class that has abandoned them to greed and individual gain. The very people who are supposed to be saving us from the credit crunch have been caught red handed with their grubby mitts in the till. They are involved in a systemic abuse of power that should be punished with more than the token suspension offered thus far. Vilification from party leaders offer scant recompense given that they are all complicit - Brown claimed money for his brother's gardener after all.

They have lost any claim to legitimacy, and the same goes for politicians who did nothing wrong - they did nothing to stop it, did they? All MPs are unhappily associated forever with a Parliament that failed its people, a Parliament that should now be dissolved to make way for a general election. To rescue our politics from the foul stench of corruptive influences, no current MP should be allowed to stand in this election. Some might say that years of experience would be lost. The events of the past week show that to be no bad thing.

How much for the rug?

Digestion takes time