My Mum is disgusted.
"We should be above this." She keeps muttering darkly.
Woolas, Chaytor, Byers in "cash for access" - It's just not meant to be like that.
Yes, Mr Dale, Mr Fawkes, I could go on, but my point would be the same.
In any Labour tribalists mind, sleaze is for Tories.
We only set up the Labour party in the first place, because of the disgusting exploitation of most of the working population, the "old boys network" the endless Tory backhanders and blatant abuse of power.
The early nineties were smug times for us lefties. Neil Hamilton and his cash for questions, Jonathon Aitken and Jeffrey Archer even went to prison for their arrogance and abuse of power.
The noughties, not so much.
We've discussed this one endlessly.
Conclusion : Frankly, all the while Labour selects it's candidates from the same narrow public school, Oxbridge elite and ignores the very people it purports to represent, why on earth should we be surprised that their candidates behave like..... well, Tories?
This is one area where Ed M has made very promising noises. An academy for hopeful MPs, no more parachuted-in candidates, a more representtive Labour Party, a genuine effort to achieve a more equal gender balance - I hope more than almost anything that all of this comes to pass, otherwise, why on earth wouldn't they all behave like crooks?
If the Labour Party is defined by anything, in my mind, it is defined by Keir Hardy, taking his place on the opposition benches when there was no opposition, just Liberals and Tories. In his tweed suit and flat cap, can you even begin to imagine the sneers, the insults, the condescension he faced? Just because an MP is working class and passionate, does that mean we turn our backs on the "Third Way"? How very arrogant to think that we would.
Don't get me wrong, I have no problem at all with the Harriet Harmans and the Tony Blairs. To leave public school a socialist takes strength of character and independent thought. We just need a lot more Alan Johnsons and John Prescotts to claim the mantle of party of progress and integrity. When Ed M said he would go out into the country to see what ordinary folks thought, I sighed a jaded sigh. A Labour leader should be moulded by the opinions of ordinary folks, he should at least aspire to higher ideals. Tories cheat the working family, they lie, it's what they do : http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/jan/07/politicians-lie-david-cameron-mendacity-expenses
Can Labour try really, really hard not to please?