When it's late at night and you want to get home you can never get a cab then suddenly, just like buses, a whole cab-rank's worth turns up.
Now two more Labour ex-ministers have been recorded attempting to peddle their probably self over-inflated influence to business. Coming hard on the heels of Hoon, Hewitt, Byers and Moran these will also probably not be the last. A veritable queue of ministerial and MP 'cabs for hire'.
Now Richard Caborn, a former sports minister, claimed to an undercover investigator that he was up for a peerage, which would enable him to gain valuable information. Adam Ingram, ex armed forces minister, claimed he could use his ex-ministerial contacts to gain influence. Ingram also suggested that the 'company' should also target ex-civil servants for help as well as saying he was employed by two companies helping Libya build a military academy.
These revelations came about as the result of a joint Times and Channel 4 Dispatches investigation.
A recent YouGov poll of over 1,500 people showed that, by a margin of about two to one, people feel this to be the most corrupt parliament in history.
There are proposals in the pipeline for John Bercow to consider. One is to put an outside earnings cap on MPs but one that should be acted upon instantly is the restriction on the number of ex-MPs with commons passes.
This lobbying is a dishonest business. Either they are claiming they are prepared to pervert democracy for their own ends or they are fraudulently misrepresenting themselves to a prospective employer. Which one is it, treason or fraud?
According to the Times, Ingram said he could already earn £173,000 a year on top of his commons salary of £65,000 by working for £1,500 a day for outside companies. That means he works 115 days a year outside parliament? Can that be right or acceptable? Even 15 days is too much. what on earth is he doing for his constituents?
Let's see some real change, empty the lobbies permanently, remove all commons passes from ex-MPs however venerable they are and put a 10% cap on MPs outside earnings.
But the real anti-corruption force is the electorate. When voting, remember the power these people potentially wield. Remember they are meant to be there for your benefit, not their party’s. Remember how easy it is for the weak and immoral to be corrupted by the system, which costs you in both money and democratic representation. Find out about your MP, then vote for the one you trust, not for what their party leader says on the telly.