Consider these two examples.
An MP is revealed by the media as being prepared to ask questions on behalf of a lobbyist acting for a fictitious client after accepting the sum of £20,000. An MP who is then forced to resign the Conservative whip and is now the subject of an enquiry by the parliamentary authorities.
Another MP who last year made £200,000 on top of his Parliamentary salary by
working for a swathe of firms making a fortune out of ‘renewable
energy’ and who continues in his position as chairman of the Select Committee on Energy and Climate Change. An MP, who yesterday, tabled an amendment to the Energy Bill seeking faster "de-carbonisation" of our economy.
Which of these would you consider the most reprehensible? The MP who is paid to ask a parliamentary question, which would have been largely ignored both by the House and the media, or the one who works for several companies and indirectly represents their interests as chairman of a select committee?
The first is Patrick Mercer, caught by a journalist's sting; the second is Tim Yeo who's activities are declared and known to all.
The moral seems to be that provided the money is big enough, and you are sufficiently brazen about your interests and declare the income, all is well.
GDP up 2.1% on the year
28 minutes ago