Peter Hoskin

Get ready to feel worse about our political class

Get ready to feel worse about our political class
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If you want an idea of how resistant MPs might be to the proposals of the forthcoming Kelly review into expenses, then I'd suggest you wander through to page 13 of today's Sunday Times.  There you'll find a story about how MPs are planning to counter Kelly's expected ban on employing relatives.  Their ideas stretch from employing each others' relatives ("a giant wife swap") to taking legal action.

In this particular case, I think there's something attractive about the compromise revealed by James on Wednesday: that MPs be allowed to employ one relative each.  But, even if that compromise is made, it still only defuses one sub-section of Kelly's review.  There'll be plenty more, you imagine, which will be met with anger, resistance and creative accounting on the part of our parliamentarians.

For the sake of the cleansing process, there can't be too many compromises to disgruntled MPs.  But neither can politics afford months of rebellion, legal action and general complaining.  Strong leadership would normally be expected to fill the gap, but you doubt whether Gordon Brown, in particular, will be able to provide that.  All in all: it's not going to be pretty.