Saturday evening 7.00 pm: George and Caroline are having a glass of wine and a dance in the drawing room of their graciously appointed West London home. They are going to a black tie supper party with West London friends. They have cracked open a bottle of fizz and have been discussing the Crewe and Nantwich by-election. George is fascinated by the expenses being claimed by MPs released yesterday, after all legal process to suppress publication failed, under the Freedom of Information Act.
George: Caroline… did you read all this about MP expenses?
Caroline: George… no… I’ve had rather a hard day as it happens with our children. They take quite a lot of looking after and now that Katja has gone and the cleaning agency don’t do nannies I have had my hands full.
George: John Prescott…. claimed £9800 to cover mock tudor boards to his house and his food bill!. Blair claimed £10,600 for a new ivory kitchen and repairs to his Aga and the “Toff-Father”, Cameron, is claiming £1,741.83 a month for the mortgage on his cottage in Oxfordshire…. fantastic…. how do they get away with this?… Hang on… and Margaret Beckett had a £600 claim for plants and a pergola rejected…. a claim was actually rejected I tell you….!
George flicked through The Telegraph, Daily Mail and the FT to see if there were any more reports.
Caroline: George, it is Saturday evening, we are about to go and have a supper party…. why are we talking about the expenses being claimed by MPs?
George: This is important… It is about the government and governance of our country… it is about the principles of democracy…. it is about our future and the inheritance of our children as that strange man on The Dragon’s Den who flogs ladies underwear and stationery supplies keeps saying.
George looked in to the middle distance, a composed, serious, expression on his face…. He turned to his wife and smiled.
George: Caroline… I’m going to stand for Parliament…. hey… I’m a regular sort of a guy… how difficult can it be to be an MP?
Caroline raised her eyes to the heavens, drained her glass of fizz, got up and started dancing… a Polka.