MPs still making a spectacle of themselves

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You might, justifiably, have thought Members of Parliament had learned their lesson about expenses by now, and might have stopped treating taxpayers’ money with cavalier abandon.

But no. They seem to have both thick skins and no shame. They are now charging us for designer spectacles worth hundreds of pounds.

Why doesn’t someone put a stop to this latest racket? For heaven’s sake, MPs get more than enough perks as it is, without raiding the public purse for items they should pay for themselves out of their own substantial salaries. The MPs’ expenses watchdog seems to be a pretty toothless sort of animal if it lets them get away with this.

Another day, another scandal

So the Prime Minister wants Boris Johnson back in Parliament. I am not surprised: at least he would enliven a pretty dull and pedestrian Conservative front-bench whether in Government or Opposition.

And now that Sir Peter Tapsell, the octogenarian Tory Member, Britain’s longest-serving continuous MP and thus Father of the Commons, has announced his retirement at the end of this Parliament, there seems to be a safe Lincolnshire vacancy awaiting Boris – if the local party wants him, that is. Boris may be an attractive politician; he does not talk in gobbledegook like most of his colleagues and he is genuinely unafraid to belittle himself.

But let it not be forgotten that he was a pushover in dealing with the late Bob Crow, the former rail union leader. Johnson caved easily to all demands by Crow for thousands of pounds of extra public money for transport drivers during the Olympics and on Boxing Day.

There was no valid reason for the extra payments to be made, but the “authorities” were so terrified of an Olympics mess that they forked out with shameful ease.

And why has Boris allowed his father Stanley to poke his nose in?

Johnson senior says the Tories should change the rules to enable someone outside Parliament to campaign for the party leadership.

I cannot imagine that Johnson-pere has done this without reference to his son.

But how pitiful and how embarrassing to let Daddy do the talking for you.