I was asked to write something on MPs' expenses in the wake of the Maria Miller case. But, as you will see, I ended up arguing that expenses are not at the root of our problems with our politicians these days:
There is a terrible lack of big ideas in British politics today.
Voters sense this and that politics is now just one more career. And a very exclusive career it is, because knowing the right people is paramount.
The typical path to becoming an MP these days is an Oxbridge degree followed by working for one of the parties or as a special adviser at Westminster.
The troop of children of ministers in Tony Blair's government getting themselves selected for safe Labour seats at the moment represent the logical culmination of this trend.There is a good Bagehot piece on a similar theme in The Economist this week.