Will the public still loath politicians a year from now, when it matters?

    I was always going to vote for UKIP in the European elections on June 4, and it is clear that other minor parties like the BNP and the Greens will do well, following public disgust with the mainstreamers after the Parliamentary expenses scandal.

    The difficult question is – what happens afterwards. Will there be any serious ramifications if the general election is held about a year from now? Will the parties still be under a cloud of shame?

There clearly has been a big shift in sentiment towards our political leadership, if the audience for BBCTV’s Question Time is anything to go by. Usually these groups are about as typical and boring as the main political parties they seem to have been collected by. How else can you explain consistent applause for talent-free, wet non-entities from the Liberal Democrat party.

But this time, there seemed to a big change. Last Thursday, the contempt from the audience was palpable. Usually the politicians are accorded some degree of respect (except of course when the world’s number one tin-ear Labour’s Harriet Harperson-Dromey is on the panel). This time the audience was interrupting and barracking. Even prize pompous bore Menzies Campbell was treated with zilch respect. That has to be good. The old fool, who has been wrong about everything in a lifetime devoted to the government money trough, has been found out at last as a straw man. You have to wonder why Margaret Becket drew the short straw to appear for Labour. Maybe they thought that her challenging looks might get her the sympathy vote. That didn’t work.

First of all, Parliament must agree a new system for expenses. That has to be simple, fair and cheap. It must make sure that there is no possibility of MPs being accused of avarice.

For what it’s worth, here’s what I think should happen. No second homes. If an MP is more than say, 60 miles from London, he should be allowed either a hotel for the night, or there should be government funded apartments which the MP could pay for and then claim back. No food, no TVs, that’s it. My own MP, Nick Herbert from Arundel and South Downs has a second home, and that is wrong. He could quite easily travel into London very day by train. If he needs to stay late, indent for a hotel room. Given that the holidays are so long, having a second home in London is hugely expensive and wasteful.

So on June 5, Britain will have a lot of representation from parties that don’t usually feature in the results. UKIP, I hope, will make huge progress. Britain’s future prosperity and freedom depends on being prised free from the anti-democratic European rotten republic. There will be a few Greens and BNP members, I suppose, hopefully in small enough numbers not to do much damage.

The BNP’s campaign will probably raise my hit rate with the BBC complaints desk. The BBC can’t stop itself from reacting hysterically and stupidly in its coverage of the BNP. As Lord Tebbit said in a letter to the Daily Telegraph last week, the BNP is a left wing, socialist party. If you look at its 2005 manifesto, it is Old Labour in disguise. “Labour with racism” Tebbit said. That won’t stop the BBC from relentlessly calling it a right-wing extremist party. Also, the BBC has duty to stop simply dismissing the BNP as nasty nutters, as though that is a given. If the BBC is to depict the BNP as nasty, (which it may well be) it has a duty to say why.

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