An MP's lot is not a happy one. We are way down the popularity stakes. Probably somewhere near bankers, journalists, lawyers, estate agents, bloggers, parking wardens, dustbin snoops, bloggers, mortgage brokers, train operators, other commuters on those trains, tourists, stars of reality TV, BBC executives, and last but not least, microbloggers. All people going about their daily business. All people who are loathed for what they do.
In fact everywhere you look nowadays, you see someone that you hate. Someone that you love to hate, want to hate, need to hate. Let's face it, we need something or somebody to rant about. It allows us momentarily to escape our own pathetic lives, with our vain aspirations, our frustrated ambitions. It allows us to blame for all our misery all those other people who got off their backsides and made something of their lives. And yes, you loved them while their stars shined, but you hate them now that they've shown themselves to be human.
But to some extent it is much, much worse for MPs. We never asked for more than we received, for more than what we felt we'd earned in the execution of our duties. At least not at the time, we didn't. If we claimed for expenses, then we only claimed what the claims office approved. Nothing more, nothing less. And let's face it, people of our calibre could have earned a hell of a lot more by working in the private sector, say in the now much maligned City of London.
The institution of parliament is being battered on all sides. Even a lawyer's injunction appears to outweigh the Bill of Rights that says that MPs have the freedom to ask questions in the House and that those questions can be freely disseminated. Newspapers, ordinary taxpayers are enraged at the activities of the house, and are telling us they are in no uncertain terms. We are indeed under seige.
So, where is all this anger leading, one can only ask? Surely not to a place that will profit this great country of ours with its noble customs, its respected institutions, its hard won freedoms.
I ask you then, from the bottom of my heart: Look kindly upon the MPs when they face the draconian response to the expenses scandal that they now face. No-one, surely, can look upon the Legg report without feeling a modicum of sympathy for our beleagured MPs? No-one can behold the inconsistencies, the inaccuracies, the iniquity of his findings without thinking: This Legg fellow is going just a bit too far. Shouldn't this Legg fellow slow down just a bit? After all, MPs are not that bad.
Because, the way I see it... that was the whole point of this report.... Surely?