The central point – that nothing seems to have been learned – holds true, though I reckon. Much as it does about that other scandal which captivated us for a while, the MPs expenses: nothing has changed. All that faux-shame and faux-contrition was just that – er, faux. If you were a valued member of any front bench team you would have needed to have claimed for a nuclear submarine as your second home to get the boot. Instead, the people the party leaders loathed or put up with on sufferance (that’ll be the over-promoted Labour babes, then) were cheerfully kicked out and the rest remain. Gove and Grayling most notably for the Tories. I suppose we should wait until the Kelly Report is out to decide finally that the expenses business has made not the slightest difference to how MPs will henceforth behave – but in the meantime, that’s my guess.
Nor has our approach to property been altered by the slump; the weekend property pages were full of themselves, proclaiming “confidence” is back in the market; we can all exult that homes are going to cost more and more once again and way beyond the reach of people being paid a reasonable wage. Homes as collateral, rather than as places in which one lives. That rancid duo Kirsty Allsopp and the smug bald bore with whom she presents that awful television programme, Location, Location, are back too – condescending to people paid less money than they are (unaccountably) and doing their best to ratchet up the property prices still further. And despite the fact that the smug bald bloke’s property firm went tits up during the recession and that he – and Kirsty – are about as qualified to advise you on what property to buy as I am qualified to tell you what hairstyle to adopt.