Sorry folks, but it was all so predicatable. Of course Jacqui Smith did wrong. Of course an investigation would return that verdict. Of course she would be made to show contrition, although how you can show what you do not have is a mystery to me, it's akin to shoving the wierd kid into the stinging nettles at school and being made to say sorry, even when it is obvious that you aren't. It's what nice people do, and we must appear nice, even if we're not.
Of course she wouldn't get punished. It's an inside job.
Of course those with relatively small amounts of moody expenses would be told to pay them back.
Of course they, in the main, know that this will make it all OK. It would happen to you if you 'mis-claimed' benefits. If you paid it back, you'd be fine.
Nothing will change. Oh, the rosettes worn by the people walking into the offices of state will change, but there will be no change.
That's not their fault, it is our fault. We are, as a nation, stupid enough to vote for them time and again, expecting change and then scratching our heads when none comes.
Perhaps the penny will drop, but I doubt it.
I am a Libertarian Party member, and believe that we should effect change via the electoral system. However I also understand that I am in a minority, both in my party membership and in my desire to do things by the book.
Look out for the EDL, look out for the enviromentalists, look out for the BNP, look out for the disapproving groups hurling abuse at returning soldiers.
Every single group has no confidence in those elected to represent them, nor in the system that gives them access to the levers of power. Increasingly desperate stunts will take place. Protests will increase and become increasingly more forceful. Increasingly desperate people will turn to violence. Hatred and resentment at anyone representing authority will grow.
Who is to blame? Well, to borrow a phrase from good old Gordon; we're all in this together. The politicans have abused and taken advantage of us, like an abusive partner. Like a weak, abused partner, incapable of breaking the cycle, we keep letting them back in.
We have no-one to blame but ourselves, and we will reinforce the cycle by returning the same people again.
When will we learn?
Perhaps we already have, perhaps these groups are like the abused partners, smacked in the mouth once too often. Divorce court? Pah! The iron or the frying pan are in easy reach, and they'll resolve the situation much quicker than some avaricious divorce solicitor.
I wouldn't want to win this coming election for all the tea in China.