We blithely say that politicians are despised even more than journalists. But those who work closely with MPs generally end up thinking they are a pretty decent lot. The revelations of the past week have changed all that. Speaker Martin's intervention today was a new low point. Beyond embarrassing, it verged on the seriously chillling.
Poor Nick Robinson looks like he has had the stuffing knocked out of him. Those columnists who have made a career out of saying we should have more respect for politicians look pretty stupid now.
In a previous post I found myself saying that the expenses scandal would not have made such a splash in less desperate times for the government. Silly, silly me. I now recognise this criss is very serious indeed and always would have been. To see politicians of the stature and integrity of Hazel Blears, Andy Burnham, James Purnell, Cheryl Gillan and Michael Gove dragged into this makes me very sad indeed.
And the thought that next year we may be ruled by a party which harbours an MP who gets the public to pay to clean his moat brings me to the point of despair.