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Watch out MPs! There’s a French revolution afoot

PUBLISHED: 16:06 02 June 2009 | UPDATED: 14:24 05 October 2010

Dear Ed, IF ONE image comes to define the scandal of our MPs and their expenses, it is that of Hazel Blears sitting in front of a TV camera waving a cheque while sporting a grin of insufferable smugness. Her arrogant performance brings to mind that prelude to the French Revolution, although Blears is no Marie-Antoinette

Dear Ed,

IF ONE image comes to define the scandal of our MPs and their expenses, it is that of Hazel Blears sitting in front of a TV camera waving a cheque while sporting a grin of insufferable smugness. That above all else illustrates the contempt politicians feel for us voters who send them to Parliament and whose taxes pay their expenses once they have arrived.

Blears’ arrogant performance brings to mind that prelude to the French Revolution, the affair of the diamond necklace. For contempt for ordinary people by the rulers, the analogy bears scrutiny, although Blears is no Marie-Antoinette who, for all her faults, at least had style.

We go to the polls on Thursday (June 4) for the EU elections, where all the established parties will be hammered.

Informed opinion’ will attribute this outcome to recent events. But informed opinion’ will be wrong.

For the genesis of the current situation, we have to go back to 1997. Labour did not achieve a great victory that year. What happened was the electorate—sickened by the political ineptitude of the Tories—fired a shot across the bows of the entire political class.

The politicians, true to form and general lack of intellect, ignored the warning signs, with the result that the voters’ anger has been slowly maturing. It is that anger which will erupt at Thursday’s Euro polls.

The politicians are braced for a hammering. They will take it on the chin, with the assumption that the voters will return to their traditional allegiances come the General Election.

Alas, I fear they are once more wrong. June 4 will only be the oath of the tennis court.’ The deluge will follow a few months down the line.

Fin de Regime,’ as the French would say.

Stephen Maybery

Whitechapel Road, Whitechapel


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