Fraser Nelson

A waste of time | 19 May 2009

A waste of time | 19 May 2009
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Was that it? Gordon Brown spent an hour talking about "radical action," "radical surgery," and the like. So what's he doing? Setting up a committee. Or, more accurately, publishing a consultation paper on setting up a committee; one that would monitor MPs' pay and expenses. And does anyone seriously believe it will come down harshly on MPs who, on £63k a year, are already amongst the best paid politicians in the world? Or does he envisage a conversation in the Dog & Duck: "I was really angry about those MPs, but then Gordon set up this committee".

Brown can't stop repeating how he is the "first Prime Minister" to suggest it. In his head, it may be radical, up there with 1832 and 1867. But this shows a man still operating on the wavelength of the Westminster Village. No one will care in the real world. He seems to distinguish between MPs - presumably Elliot Morley - who have broken rules and must go and, on the other hand, Margaret Moran whose behaviour is "completely unacceptable" but in the rules (so, ergo, acceptable).

I noticed how the foreign correspondents are asking him how he has the gall to go on about third world corruption with all this going on - a financial and political crisis and Britain can't seem to start to find its way out. And warm words about Michael Martin's "diligence" - a peerage will be next, no doubt.

Written byFraser Nelson

Fraser Nelson is the editor of The Spectator. He is also a columnist with The Daily Telegraph, a member of the advisory board of the Centre for Social Justice and the Centre for Policy Studies.

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