Our Prime Minister has made a total fool of himself, and he went to the trouble of putting it on YouTube - so everyone can view his humiliation again and again, just as I might listen to a Springstein CD over and over. A few weeks ago he was determined to allow the Parliamentary watchdog, Sir Christoper Kelly to conduct a review of MP's expenses, despite the leaders of the Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties wanting a response to the public disquiet about this issue dealt with more quickly. Last week, completely out of the blue, he starred in his own comic film, announcing that the 'second homes allowance' would be replaced by an 'attendance allowance' - and it would be voted on this week. I happened to be watching the TV with Mrs D when I first heard about this. Told her immediately "No chance. The public will go bananas if MPs pay themselves for just turning up. And anyway, his own MPs won't have it. He's made a total a*** of himself."
Today, he's withdrawn his proposal, and asked Sir Christopher Kelly to bring forward his report on expenses and allowances before MPs break up for their summer hols. Sir Christopher responded immediately, telling our Prime Minister to shut it and wait - in diplomatic language of course. A bit like the way Blackadder treated Baldrick. He'll produce his report when he's studied the evidence and considered the issue properly. The only reason this should not be seen as a humiliation of our Prime Minister by Sir Christopher is that Gordon Brown beat him to it. A truly spectacular self-humiliation.
Now why do you think Gordon Brown is so desperate to have a 'solution' before the recess. Could it be to limit the flak that's going to be flying when MP's receipts for expenses are published - probably on the last day before the recess, when MP's will be safely away from Westminster and the probing questions of the media. I don't know what Gordon Brown knows about what's coming, but all that his machinations to create a smokescreen will have done is sharpen the pencils of the press.