A day of miscalculation by the political classes
How convenient, the Whitsun break. Have you ever wondered how many weeks the political classes absent themselves in a year?
But the problem today is not absenteeism. In some cases it’s a lack of it.
Margaret Moran, the MP for Luton South, already under fire for funding the treatment of dry rot at her house 100 miles from her constituency, is now under fire for using parliamentary resources to help run a company out of her constituency office.
Nor, of course, have Cabinet ministers Hazel Blears, James Purnell and Geoff Hoon, who stand accused of serious tax avoidance. Not illegal but hardly the function of individuals charged with disbursing taxpayers’ money.
In the end, today is a day of miscalculation. Miscalculation in Downing Street that the electorate will smile on such prime ministerial tolerance.
Miscalculation, too, neatly expressed by the Gurkha debacle in which a clever west end actress has run the government ragged over a policy rooted in a failure to get the figures right, aided and abetted by a failure to read the public mood.
It must seem to some as if judgement, leadership, decisiveness and integrity are simply draining away like sand in an hourglass. The only lasting question: how long is the hour?