Whenever any MP announces an intention to stand down, my first thought is always “I wonder what their expenses were like”. Actually, it’s not even just when one announces that, it’s whenever any MP comes on the telly or the radio or even are mentioned online.
The more productive thing to think about would be where they stand on Cameron’s new Europe policy if they’re a Tory, or whether they’re a plotter if Labour. Usually if a Lib Dem’s making a media appearance, it’s Chris Huhne and I wonder whether he’s going to say something bold this time, or sorta make bold sounding noises but seek to clarify his position.
Would an election change this (my focus on expenses, not Chris Huhne)? I’m sure this has been a burning question in the minds of many MPs for some time. How long are they going to be tainted by the expenses scandal, and even if an election removes many of the worst offenders from Parliament, will the reputation of the profession – being an honourable member – recover?