A little cunning plan has bubbled up. Retiring MPs have put it about that there should be an early general election to cleanse parliament of the expenses scandal. Other MPs with safe seats are also in favour. The reason that some are so keen is they would avoid having to payback large amounts of our money:
If Mr Brown went to the country, they could escape before Sir Thomas’s final report is produced. They would then get severance pay ranging from £40,000 to £60,000 and, once beyond Parliament’s clutches, could not be forced to hand any more money back. If, on the other hand, the House was still sitting, sums could be deducted from their latest expenses claims and, possibly, severance pay.
The theory stacks up, but there some little practical difficulties. The electorate will not take that kindly to this cynical plan. Just when would we have this election. Before Christmas or in the cold dark winder months of January and February?
MPs could well spin out approving Legg’s final judgements for a few months, but to have an early election on the back of the expenses scandal would leave Parliament open to further ridicule.
If Brown was replaced, for whatever reason, an immediate dash to the country before the spring is unlikely even if Labour MPs went down the much discussed ‘Bob Hawke’ route.
Then again, life is full of surprises.