Wednesday, May 27, 2009
There just seems no end to the shame and embarrassment facing UK politicians. For 19 consecutive days, the story of the Westminster expenses trough has dominated the headlines of every newspaper over here, as well as the news and current affairs programmes on radio and television.
Sadly for the political class, the European parliamentary election on June 5 and local elections on June 4 will ensure that the subject of the greed of politicians remains uppermost in citizens' minds for at least the next 10 days.
But beyond the elections, the heated public discussion to date indicates that the scandal will have a dramatic impact on how this particular parliamentary democracy is run in the future. There is much talk of what appears to be a partial suicide or a culling operation, with the suggestion that the number of members of parliament be reduced.
There is also talk of the need to implement major changes to the party system.
At the weekend Anglican bishops took the unprecedented step of urging their congregations not to vote for the British National Party, a xenophobic fascist party whose rise to prominence might mark the beginnings of a return to the terrifying 1930s for Europe.