Fraser Nelson Fraser Nelson

Trust in politics is dead: long live ‘wiki-politics’

If a museum were built to honour the ancestral political class, it would not look much different from the House of Commons. Its corridors are lined with portraits of the political greats and its staircases are adorned with old Vanity Fair caricatures. ‘Honourable members’ are still treated as if they were just that, with the right to jump to the top of the queue at canteens, bars and the post office. In other words: they live in a bubble of delusion, comfortably but perilously insulated from the growing hostility of the outside world.

If a museum were built to honour the ancestral political class, it would not look much different from the House of Commons. Its corridors are lined with portraits of the political greats and its staircases are adorned with old Vanity Fair caricatures. ‘Honourable members’ are still treated as if they were just that, with the right to jump to the top of the queue at canteens, bars and the post office. In other words: they live in a bubble of delusion, comfortably but perilously insulated from the growing hostility of the outside world.

If a museum were built to honour the ancestral political class, it would not look much different from the House of Commons. Its corridors are lined with portraits of the political greats and its staircases are adorned with old Vanity Fair caricatures. ‘Honourable members’ are still treated as if they were just that, with the right to jump to the top of the queue at canteens, bars and the post office. In other words: they live in a bubble of delusion, comfortably but perilously insulated from the growing hostility of the outside world.

Now, in the wake of the Derek Conway affair, some of that hostility is starting to seep under the mighty doors of the Palace of Westminster. Huddles of MPs gather to discuss tactics about the coming inquisition. David Cameron has given his frontbench team until the end of next month to register or remove any wives, sons or lovers who may be lurking suspiciously on the payroll. Gordon Brown is also ordering his MPs to name any family members they employ. Both are desperate to be seen as parliamentary sleazebusters rather than helpless victims.

Yet both know it could get much worse. Patrick McLoughlin, the Tory chief whip, has warned Mr Cameron there are more horror stories waiting to come out.

Already a subscriber? Log in

Keep reading with a free trial

Subscribe and get your first month of online and app access for free. After that it’s just £1 a week.

There’s no commitment, you can cancel any time.

Or

Unlock more articles

REGISTER

Comments

Don't miss out

Join the conversation with other Spectator readers. Subscribe to leave a comment.

Already a subscriber? Log in