To those who say we must go on paying MPs ever more because if we pay peanuts we get monkeys, there are three responses. First of all, when you add up handsome salary, handsome expenses and no supervision we are not talking peanuts; secondly, the number of people who want to be MPs is absolutely enormous, so clearly the conditions are attractive; and thirdly, I’d rather have a bunch of monkeys there than the useless misfits we have now.
Hear, hear! At least the monkeys might, eventually, produce the works of Shakespeare; our politicians might produce a similar volume of paper but they are unlikely ever to match the quality of the monkeys' output.
And here is another choice nugget.
The truth, the harsh, unvarnished truth is that there is no point to the House of Commons or to MPs.
Let us go through it systematically. The House of Commons is supposed to legislate and hold the Executive to account. It never does the latter. The only body within the British constitutional structure that still does it to an extent is the unpaid House of Lords and, with the help of the House of Commons, it has been emasculated and is to be destroyed completely.
Legislation no longer happens in the Commons. Between seventy and eighty per cent of it comes from Brussels, often bypassing Parliament completely. Even if it does hit Parliament, it cannot be rejected. Scrutiny, even if there were time to do it thoroughly, without the right of rejection or amendment is not legislation. It is akin to rearranging those famous deckchairs on the Titanic.
A good deal of the legislation both European and domestic, often intermingled, is produced by quangos, who are also responsible for implementing laws and rules. A good deal of the legislation that does go through Parliament is nothing more than the implementation of rules created by tranzis, starting with the UN and its many off-shoots.
In other words, MPs have abandoned all their duties and, while most people probably do not know the details of the EU or suchlike matters there is a widespread if unfocused understanding that there is no point in voting as that changes nothing. This is not because they are all the same, though that is true as well, but because they, the politicians, are not in a position to change anything and when they tell us otherwise, they are lying on a scale no politician has lied before.
Quite. It is not that politicians have never lied before: they have. It is not that politicians have never been corrupt before: they have. It is that the politicians pretend that they can do anything at all about the problems in this country: they cannot and, once the Lisbon Treaty has been passed, they will be able to do even less.
As it is, the politicians are forced to wander forlornly around the Commons, wondering what on earth they might do to prove their worth.
The other side of the coin is that in the little that has been left to the politicians to deal with, they micromanage. No part of our lives is safe from their grubby little fingers: not education, not behaviour, not whether we need plastic carrier bags or not.
This is an argument that I have made before. In fact, I suggested that MPs be paid no mor than £5,000 a year for, if they are busy scrabbling around and trying to make a living, they have less time to sit about, dreaming up yet more pointless and illiberal legislation.
No, we do not trust politics or politicians, Mr Cameron and ladies and gentlemen of the Conservative Party. Nor shall we until you at least show some understanding of where the problem lies. Oh and stop fiddling while Rome burns. It is not an edifying sight.
Rome? Burning? No, this is more of a slow decline into ruin. Our Parliament bears more resembalnce to the lonely, pitiable and hubristic ruin of King Ozymandias than to the excitable blaze of the Roman capital.