And even more earthshattering is the news that Peter Mandelson had to be taught how to use a Blackberry. And this tuition took place during working hours. Jesus. And this is what constitutes journalism today.
How, exactly, is this a story? Because Tory MP Greg Hands unearthed the information in parliamentary answers. I am second to no one in my admiration for Greg Hands. He is one of the brightest of the 2005 intake of MPs. But I don't think he does politics any favours by trying to insinuate that politicians are somehow 'on the take' in this manner. Lay off the Chipmunk!
One politician who has legitimately been exposed today, however, is the former Labour Transport Minister Stephen Ladyman, who is clearly cashing in while he still has the opportunity. The Sunday Times reveals how he has been using his Commons office to lobby on behalf of Transport firm ITIS. The final sentence of the story demonstrates why he deserves to lose his Thanet South seat, which has a very small majority...
When he was asked last week whether other companies who did not employ MPs to lobby might consider themselves at a disadvantage, he replied: “It’s their choice. They can hire MPs.”Don't those two sentences reveal all you need to know about Mr Ladyman? They also demonstrate how we still haven't dealt with the vexed question of MPs' outside interests. Even when MPs act totally properly in this area, there are still suspicions that there's something fishy going on.