Monday, May 11, 2009

Two Sorries, Two Browns, Too Late

Freshly made-up Brown bounced back with a fulsome apology and a new make-over over the expenses scam which has rocked Westminster and left MPs in a cold sweat. Only it was all a tad too late. Darn Dave had got in there before him. 

After hiding away for days in the bunker while the flippin' New Labour expenses scam exploded in his face, battered Brown suddenly found his make-up bag and popped up to say 'sorry', sort of, as he played followed the (new) leader. 

But in a cunning piece of political timing, the spluttering S-word only came out after some front-bench Tories were slammed as a rotten lot of greedy chancers. Cameron had already got in quick with an apology, quick as a flash, last night. Though tomorrow could be a bad day for back-bench Tories bracing themselves for the Telegraph's damaging drip-feed.

Bad timing, crafty political footwork or unable to make up his mind about whether to use Polyfilla or foundation cream?

MPs expenses are a sick joke. But whatever the political colours, it's all too little too late. The Orange Party prefers the pale and interesting look but even with the make-up cannot get its head round exactly which bits Brown is apologising for. 

Is it "the system" of a flipping second homes fiddle which has been festering for years on his watch? 

Is is the stark truth that a decade of power has left greedy cabinet and low-life ministers taking the easy ride on the gravy train?

Or maybe with some Tories in the firing line at last, now was a good day to bury the bad news about his cronies who've been milking the system for all its worth in both houses of parliament. Time to come over all statesman-like. And orange.

Pale-faced Brown was left red-faced this morning after the Sun reported his make-up tips had been left in a taxi by a bungling aide. But no doubt he can claim it all on expenses. Isn't that what Blair did with his make-up bill?

Despite the make-over and half-baked apology hard questions over squalid expenses still remain. Today's 'sorry' has taken the heat off Cameron's Tories and thrown the ball back in Brown's court. 

So why not just scrap expenses altogether? Fix a salary tied to a civil service spine, couple it with a single flat rate London living allowance for all MPs outside the capital and cut back on the over generous freebie first-class travel and the like. 

After all, MPs go into politics to serve the people not feather their own nest. Somehow it's unlikely that radical plan will get past the speaker. 

But what has been scotched is the flammed up spinning plan dreamt up by Blair's knighted MP Sir Stuart Bell to use the smokescreen of a new audit fees office to hide receipts from FOI laws after a timely intervention by the Times

Meanwhile back in the real world, for everyone else struggling to make ends meet, it's still the economy stupid. 

No doubt the Supreme Leader is wrestling with the great affairs of state. How to wrong-foot the Tories and knife his own kind in the back, what to do about getting Euro trashed on June 4 and what to do with his own pesky party politicians lining up to have a pop at his premiership.

More worrying is the highly unusual move of Tory peers who usually keep their noses out of commons affairs now calling for a general election to clear the air. For the Tories, that one will run and run.

It will take more than new make-up to make up for a decade of lost time, lost opportunity, lost make-up tips and a lost plot. 

Brown needs to find a magic 'expenses' bullet and fire a final shot to break out of the relentless round sleaze and scandals which have engulfed Westminster and his MPs. He could start with a purge of his crooks and second-rate spivs.

Picture: Brown make-over before and after

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