"The Derek Conway affair is not the first, nor likely to be the last, in a long line of political scandals over money. While such scandals have formed a steady trickle for generations, the floodgates seemed to open 18 months ago with the cash-for-peerages investigation. It may be tempting for politicians to argue that each scandal is separate from the others, but the British people simply don't see it that way.
It's time to admit there's a pattern here. The relationship between money and politics is rotten, and it is hollowing out our whole political system. Public cynicism has never been greater. The details of the latest scandals, while of obsessive interest to the Westminster village, mean little to the public. They don't distinguish between MPs pay and expenses and dodgy donors to political parties. All they remember is the association between politicians, money and scandal.
No political party should believe that any partisan advantage can be gained from the latest rash of revelations. We're all in this together. It is politics itself, not one party as opposed to another, that is on trial.
So we have a choice. Either we fix the problems now, or British politics will follow the United States into big money politics, with political influence bought and twisted by the influence of cash."