Monday, May 31, 2010

Gunning for Alexander

The Daily Telegraph is strongly opposed to the proposed increase in Capital Gains Tax. They also hate the Conservative-Lib Dem coalition. It took them 17 days to work out how to get David Laws. It has taken them just one to start moving against his successor, Danny Alexander, over the issue of his non-payment of CGT on a property. I do wonder, though, how much appetite the public has for these continuing revelations. There comes a point where you accept you are not going to get perfect politicians, where you understand that many of them were embroiled in the sort of expenses imbroglio that most private corporations manage to keep secret, where you acknowledge that such sleight of hand has now been genuinely tackled by a new parliamentary process, and you just want to move on and see how this government deals with the important issues of the day. Then again, if you had paid over a million pounds for some old MP expenses files, you might not see 2010 as much of a turning point!


parliamentdoesntwork said...

I don't think the public's issue with the telegraph is acceptance that we won't have 'perfect politicians', but rather that the it has been spinning things to such a great extent. The paper cleverly started with revelations that some MPs had broken the law on claiming expenses, getting the public angry. Then, when it revealed that other MPs had been 'irresponsible with taxpayers money' (even when it wasn't technically against the law, just greedy) it got a reaction and people started forgetting what the law actually is, and so by delivering these revelations in the right order they've been able to produce general hype. Danny Alexander marks a general turning point where the realisation that the Telegraph are stretching 'unacceptable' has overpowered the feeling of indignation that originally arose from the scandal. In this case, it was more Mr. Alexander taking the normal route rather than the 'long cut' as opposed to the idea that he was taking the greedy short cut instead of the normal route when paying his taxes. The problem was a crease in the tax system, not a crease in his taxpaying.
If you're interested I write a weekly blog on PMQs at

GM said...

Certainly interested - thanks for the link.