David Mitchell has an amusing column in The Guardian that mildly disparages politicians of all sorts and David Cameron particularly. But at the end he points to something that those of us in America should despair of:
The solution is to tighten expenses rules but pay MPs more, but that's a difficult argument to win and politicians would have to be brighter to do it, particularly after they've all been caught pilfering House of Commons toiletries.
Ultimately, it's not in Cameron's interests. He doesn't need the money – many Tories don't. Lower pay and cutting things like each MP's communications allowance, which they'll then have to find from political funds, will always tend to benefit the right wing, the advocates of the rich. What sounds like selfless parsimony for those who aspire to govern translates as voicelessness for people without private wealth or contacts in big business. It turns out he's not stupid.
That's utterly sensible and, while communicated with a humorous tone, solid advice for the UK, I think.
Here in the US this week, it's pretty apparent from Supreme Court argument that the justices nominated by Genius George W. Bush will gut campaign finance laws. This means that corporations will not just be able to dump ungodly amounts of money into some parts of the political process, but that there will be no area of political discourse that will be even slightly off-limits to their sewage.
Expect the Bush Supreme Court to soon rule outright bribery "protected political speech," so long as Republicans are the ones raking in the payoffs.
Why are lower-middle class and poor southerners screaming in anger for the right to die bankrupt and untreated rather than have insurance companies regulated? Because some of the richest people in the world are pumping their heads full of rank bullshit.
Hard to believe, but expect it only to get worse, until the USA is a premodern state with a microthin gilded upper crust seperated from poorhouses, workhouses, and a seething underclass of Dickensian proportions: but an underclass that loves rich corporations bankrupting and killing them. Scrooge will never have to change his ways.
I appreciate David Mitchell's amusement at the irrationality of what Cameron is doing. I wish we had that problem here.