I was just thinking back to the speech I made at the Future Leaders Conference on the 15th April this year, organised by Changemakers with young people in their late teens and early twenties. I said:
So what is wrong with our system of government and what can we do to address it? There are a range of problems: our politicians don’t look like us, they don’t act as we would wish them too… we should expect politicians to represent the best of us, but too often they fall short – the recent expenses scandals drag down trust in our politics. Too often they don’t demonstrate the kind of courage and independence of thought that we would want them too. And many politicians fall short when it comes to accountability and dialogue with the people they represent.
I went on to highlight other key problems, in particular our over centralised system, but the expenses point now seems even more important. There is an excellent post on Conservative Home this morning calling for David Cameron to take tough action. The Prime Minister must also show leadership. When in the past Councillors were found guilty of comparable abuses of the expenses system, such as in the Donnygate cases, they were arrested and questioned, charged, fined and in some cases even imprisoned.