Labour Minister Ian McCartney thinks that MPs should donate a day of their pay to bail out those who have lost their Christmas club savings through the failure of Fairpack. MPs have now been put in an impossible position. If they don't pay up their local newspapers will paint them as scrooges.
My old opponent in North Norfolk, Norman Lamb, has spoken out against McCartney's idea, describing it as a 'gimmick'. He's quite right. No doubt he'll get castigated for it, but I hope MPs of all parties tell McCartney that charitable giving is a private issue and should remain so. Being blackmailed into paying up is not the the way to go. Instead, McCartney should be looking closer to home and how these Christmas clubs are regulated by his own department.