David Blackburn

Wilshire: This is exactly how Nazi Germany started

Wilshire: This is exactly how Nazi Germany started
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No it isn’t. The disgraced Tory MP, David Wilshire, who used £105,000 in Commons’ offices expenses to pay for a company owned by him and his good lady and was forced to stand down at the next election, has, with a flair for historical analysis possessed only by geographers, written to his constituents:

‘The witch hunt against MPs in general will undermine democracy. It will weaken parliament - handing yet more power to governments. Branding a whole group of people as undesirables led to Hitler's gas chambers.’

Jacqui Smith and Tony McNulty cast themselves as victims, which defied belief. But Wilshire’s attempt is worthy of Basil Fawlty in its absurdity; it is also grotesquely offensive and Cameron is right to demand a retraction.

The outbursts, non-apologies and absence of contrition emanating from proven wrongdoers has hardened public opinion against legitimate objections to retrospective rules and unreasonable, ill-conceived requirements. Residual sympathy has subsided, and MPs must accept Sir Christopher Kelly’s report in its entirety, warts and all. That poses more of a threat to democracy, though not much of one, than does the public's justified ire.