(From The Journal)
THE recent farrago of stupidity and greed in relation to MPs' claims for allowances is the straw that breaks the camel's back.
The camel being a political system that came into existence in the United Kingdom just about 100 years ago and a straw because, whilst in no way trivial in itself, it is certainly not the most important crack in what is now a very broken system indeed.
To understand where we are we need to see how we got here. That begins with the breakdown of the post-war consensus with the election of the Thatcher government in 1979.
Thatcher changed the Tory party and she changed the character of governance in this country. The industrial base was abandoned to the winds of global change and replaced by an increasingly deregulated financial services sector. Local government was stripped of power and replaced by unelected quangos.
The welfare state was turned into a cash cow for private capital through the development of the private finance initiative.
The tax system was transformed from mildly progressive into regressive, with the most affluent excused taxes altogether.
Labour's internal difficulties …