Sunday, January 27, 2008
Good lord! The Sunday Mirror still exists! I had no idea. I have become aware of this startling fact today because it seems to have a story that everybody else is following - Alan Johnson 'taking money from a middle man'. Of course, in a grown-up country this wouldn't be a story at all. All this dodgy donation nonsense has happened because MPs made some needlessly complex rules for themselves which they then proceeded to break. As I have said before, the pol-bloggers have inflated these stories beyond all reason. The result is that any trivial back-office slip can lead to an MP being accused of corruption. But think of the long term effect. We already have a tabloid-driven rule that anybody seeking high office must be utterly clean of any contact with drugs and flawlessly chaste. Now we have a rule that says they must spend most of their time checking every penny that comes their way. Intelligent, thoughtful, original people with any blood in their veins at all would, in the present climate, be insane to want to go into politics. Stupid, bloodless party hacks and automatons are our future. And we deserve it.
Posted by Bryan Appleyard at 9:13 am