09 May 2009

Alastair Campbell should be listened to

Alastair Campbell offers some sound advice to the party leaders on his blog, suggesting that in hindsight they should have met when Cameron first suggest this:

Had they been able to agree upon a series of principles to govern MPs' remuneration and expenses, then left the rest to detailed negotiation and consideration by the Committee on Standards in Public Life, politics might have had a route map to a better place than where it is this morning.

Further on:

Of course the Telegraph is a right-wing paper and Labour is the party of government so it is inevitable they will focus as much as possible on those claims which concern Labour MPs, especially ministers. By the time the focus shifts to MPs from other parties, the noise may have abated a little, so in so far as muck sticks, it will stick mainly to Labour.

This raises a number of points.  Is the advice that Campbell is reported to be giving Brown at present being listened to?  Furthermore, Labour is just going to have to swallow what the Telegraph is dishing up at present, no matter how much Mandy complains.

His suggestion that the party leaders should now meet should be taken up.  These drip-drip revelations on expenses are not allowing other important news to gain traction, such as the lead story in the Guardian.

When you get a Tweet like this, “The Westminster chatter is that Ed Balls and Yvette Cooper are likely to feature BIG TIME in The Sunday Telegraph”, you begin to wonder where this will all lead.

What is needed now is decisive cross-party leadership to resolve the matter once and for all.  It should have happened weeks ago before MPs got caught up in the inevitable whirlwind.

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