Thursday, April 30, 2009

Chaos In Brown's Big Brother House

Chaos descended on the commons as the muddy waters of MPs' mirky expenses were swamped in a mire of meaningless mayhem, after deluded Brown's foolish attempt to stamp his lost authority on parliament, the Party and the people ended in another climbdown.

Putting his authority on the line and with the anti-sleaze watchdog boss already telling him to stick his expenses, the dead man walking had already lost the debate, lost the plot and the Party has lost the will to live.

MPs want this sordid mess settled before facing the wrath of voters on the doorstep and are looking to the independence of the watchdog to get themselves out of the mess and off the hook.

But instead, in a remarkable act of self-deluded grandeur, Brown urged MPs to show "some humility" over expenses claims but showed none himself.

Already smarting from his foolish YouTube video, his smiley plan to pay MP's a fat-cat bonus for turning up for work was doomed from the start.

So up popped his house cheerleader, Harriet Harman, to announce the government now supported the bright idea for MPs to hold their fire until the independent review had been published. As for the per diem forget it.

That led many to ask: What's the point of continuing with the farce? Why do we need Brown's vote on piddling interim odds and ends? Why the sudden rush to close that review down? What have they got to hide?

U-turns, climbdowns and showdowns are one thing but after yesterday's humiliating defeat at the hands of the Gurkhas, a second thumping was well out of order.

The threat had come from a Tory amendment to hold fire until the outcome of a review by the committee on standards in public life, headed by Sir Christopher Kelly, who'se already crossed swords with Brown on the issue.

Forced to face up to reality and instead of getting a deserved kicking, Brown and his bunch of ministers and pay-roll MPs were forced into a second climbdown in 24 hours. New Labour did the honourable thing and caved in.

Brown and his ministers wants the whole scandal closed down with a firm lid before the full horror of all MPs receipts are laid bare in July and, even with the crucial bits blanked out, the proverbial hits the fan. Too right they do.

What horror stories will emerge? Who's dirty washing will be hung out in public? Who's been fiddling away in their two homes with a taxpayer-funded lavish lifestyle? Who's been having it away on an awayday at the taxpayers expense? Who'll be forced to resign in shame?

As the storm clouds gathered over parliament, Brown's future was in the balance and MPs trotted rapidly into the realms of "utter lunacy" over per diem, the Tories were quick to carpe diem:

"This is a clear acknowledgement from the Government that the tide of opinion is running against it. The situation has confused backbench MPs on all sides who clearly feel that the Government is tying itself in knots on this issue."

This shamed government had already been brought crashing to its knees by the Gurkhas as a feared alliance of Tories, LibDems and backbench Labour MPs threw out minister's indecent plans and cast further doubts on Brown's authority and grip on power.

Today beleaguered Brown simply avoided a battle to avoided defeat but he's already lost the war.

Confused? You are not alone. What will today's shambles mean for the scandal of MPs' expenses? Not a lot. How will it all end? In tears.

Picture: Front cover, Private Eye

No comments: