You really have to laugh at the sheer cheek of it - the sheer brass neck. We have read in the Telegraph that many MPs dislike the plans to cut back on their expenses, but the Montgomeryshire Liberal Democrats and their MP, Lembit Opik have really taken the top prize for not 'getting it' - and for telling Sir Christopher Kelly where to go with his proposals. One of the main conclusions of the Kelly Report was that the Communications Allowance should be scrapped. And quite right too. It was a disgraceful tax, designed in my opinion only to help incumbent MPs retain their seats. This blog has campaigned for it's abolition for years. All party leaders have accepted this Kelly recommendation without reservation. They know there is no justification whatsoever. Mr Nick Clegg, the Lib Dem leader has been been able to talk of little else. He even wanted to scrap the Queen's Speech to talk about it.
So what do the Montgomeryshire Lib Dems and Mr Opik do? It takes your breath away. Just before the Communications Allowance is banned, they rush out a glossy leaflet, paid for by this very same allowance ( all taxpayer's money) and post it (the postage paid for by the taxpayer) to voters in Montgomeryshire. My copy was delivered to me by my postman this morning. Never seen a more cynical 'milking of the system' in my life - demonstrating a level of 'not getting it' that deserves wider attention.
And it gets worse. They've put a photograph which includes myself on the front of it. Now I'm not sure what the reason was for this, but it means that the Communications Allowance (which I have always said is so offensive to democracy that I would never touch it) has been used to promote me. On one level, I find this to be appalling, but on another, the sheer effrontery of it is quite funny. I wonder what Nick Clegg thinks of this. The poor man must be in despair.