Thursday, 14 May 2009

Morley suspended - will one political corpse be enough?

Gordon Brown has just thrown the political corpse of Elliot Morley over the walls of Westminster Palace. He is suspended from the Parliamentary Labour Party, shaming in itself for someone with such a long career, but we don't know how long for yet.

Like the resignation of Andrew MacKay as David Cameron's unpaid parliamentary private secretary earlier today I don't think that it will do enough to satisfy public anger, or the synthetic outrage of the media.

There are parallels here with the Royal Family sitting it out in Balmoral, in a world removed from the mass of people caught up in hysteria over Princess Diana's' death.

It is taking a while for it to sink in that Westminster has been comprehensively bombed by the expenses revelations. Groping around for the hair shirts and the independent reviews simply is not going to repair the damage in the short or medium term.

For sure MPs are going to have to live on less from now on, despite their salaries having fallen a long way behind the private sector. There might be two consequences that affect democracy - politics might become a game for rich people, as Anne Widdecombe warned.

On the other hand the gravy train wreck might not make being an MP quite so attractive for the time-servers and machine politicians who have stood in the way of talented individuals winning nomination, if not office.

That's a debate for another time. The next few days we'll be sifting through the wreckage of the Westminster neutron bomb.

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