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Friday, June 06, 2008

No change

Anybody who genuinely thought that the Tories have managed to effect a step-change from the nasty, sleazy party they were around the time of the 1997 General Election must have been disabused of that illusion by this latest episode.

For all the fuss about the failure of various MPs to declare donations with the electoral commission it remains the case that the most serious allegations of abuse to date have been against the Tory Group Leader in the European Parliament, Giles Chichester and Tory MP Derek Conway.

We must not forget that sustained publicity about sleazy Tory MPs directly contributed to their defeat eleven years ago. At that time there were constant headlines about a whole variety of indiscretions all adding to the view that John Major had lost control of his party.

So far the general disillusionment with Gordon Brown and the apparent short memory of many people seems to have protected David Cameron from a similar backlash, but he must know that unless he gets a grip and drags his MPs, MEPs and Councillors out of well-worn but questionable practices with regards to allowances and expenses, then he faces another meltdown.

To be fair Cameron seems to understand this and is doing a reasonable job of containing the damage. The question is though, does his party have the same level of understanding and will they allow their present opinion poll lead to lure them into a potentially disastrous complacency?
I agree with you Peter that this is a mess that has to be sorted out. It’s a slap in the face for ordinary folks who are getting hammered with huge cost of living rises. If this sort of thing is allowed to continue, I am sure it will have devastating effect on the moral of the country. Corruption rolls down hill and if senior MPs or MEPs get away with this kind of thing it spells disaster not just for the parties directly involved, but for the nation. How can a people be expected to weather the oncoming economic storm and not react in a very negative way to politician expense scandals. The leader of the Conservative Party must come down very hard on this or the damage will be cataclysmic for the nation.
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