In between throwing my guts up into a bucket this morning, I just wanted to bring to your attention a "One too watch" Early Day Motion from the Commons. The motion has been tabled by the DUP MP, Gregory Campbell and at time of writing has one other signature on it, that of his DUP colleague, David Simpson. The motion is titled "Politicians and the Economic Downturn" and reads,
That this House notes the extent of the economic downturn right across the United Kingdom; realises the significant degree of cynicism that exists among the general public in relation to how politicians are responding to the effect the downturn is having on average families, many of whom are facing uncertainty regarding employment and their standards of living; and recognises the need for politicians, irrespective of party labels, as well as all others paid for out of the public purse, to have an obligation in demonstrating value for money approaches in whatever capacity they are employed and to show cost reductions where possible as a contribution towards the exceptionally difficult economic times in the nation.Now there are two primary reasons why this one is worth watching. First, that should be a motion that literally hundreds of MPs ought to sign, so omission of a signature is a telling sign of attitude.
Second, it will be interesting to see if any MPs that have themselves been involved in dodgy expenses stories decide to sign it. At which point of course the cry of either "hypocrite" or "changed his/her ways since getting caught" will be raised.
My betting is not that many will sign it. Either because they don;t know about it (or do an ostrich and pretend not too), or, more likely, because if they do sign it they will become an instant target for someone to investigate what they spend money on, and the slightest whiff of excessive wastefulness and it will be splashed across the blogs and/or papers - again withthe cry of hypocrite.
In a way the motion is a perfect indictment of everything that is wrong with day-to-day politics. The very fact that a motion saying that is needed makes it a bit like those posters in mens pub toilets that remind you not to go out and rape a woman.
* Government ministers by convention do not sign EDMs, so don't expect to see Jacqui Smith on there.