David Cameron has acted like a leader today. But our Prime Minister has acted like an insignificance, and is being laughed at and ignored. I saw a clip of him on Newsnight, and cannot remember what he said - and then we had Michael Crick telling us that what he said has not been agreed by the appropriate persons anyway. David Cameron has taken a first step on the long, long road to restoring public confidence in the British body politic. No messing about. Shadow Cabinet members have been writing cheques, returning money to the taxpayer. Its clear that the same thing is going to apply to every other Conservative MP. And if any MP does not accept the judgement of the 'Scrutiny Panel' they will cease to be Conservative MPs. That's the way to sort it.
In my opinion, the most important decision that David has taken is that every claim must be made public when it is submitted. This will pour disinfectant on the system. Its such an irony that if MPs had not fought so hard to prevent their expense claims being made public, there would not have been an opportunity for the Telegraph to wreak such havoc. There's no doubt that much of the humiliation has been self-inflicted.
There was an interesting discussion amongst the Newsnight panel about whether the Sir Christopher Kelly Report should be accepted in full - now. The Labour and Lib Dem spokesmen agreed it should. Theresa May looked uncomfortable when trying to avoid making the same commitment. Must admit that I'm with Theresa on this one. I do think its highly likely that Sir Christopher's report will be accepted as a whole, but its a big leap of faith to state unequivocally that it will. The Labour spokesman said that MPs have lost the right to have any say whatsoever on this issue. I think that is going too far. And I can think of several reasons why the report might not be acceptable to Conservatives. It may well be that Sir Christopher will recommend that a much wider range of second home expenses should be eligible than the much-curtailed list David Cameron announced today. The public would not want to see that. But lets cut the carping. David Cameron's decisiveness has made today a slightly better day for British politics.