Yesterday David Cameron used his party election broadcast slots to apologise for the behaviour of Conservative MPs and to report how the Conservatives were moving to discipline their MPs.
No other party has been so clear about how it is responding to the MP’s expenses scandal and certainly Parliament itself has been lamentable.
Back in the real world I wonder what real people really think. Certainly they were very polite to me this morning when we went out canvassing just south of South Ealing tube. I talked to 21 residents in two hours. 18 people mentioned neither the expenses scandal nor the European elections. On expenses maybe they were too polite to raise a sensitive subject. One guy mentioned the expenses thing in passing but we talked at length about the expansion of Little Ealing Primary School. One lady commiserated with me about the expenses thing and also mentioned the Euro elections but she had more to say about the improvements in street cleaning she had noticed. Another lady had had problems getting a proxy vote for the Euros but with her rubbish collections were more of an issue.
Of the 21 I talked to I don’t think anyone was negative about the council. 5 or 6 people have noticed that sometimes the bin men get lazy about clearing up after spilt bags. I keep giving people the council’s customer services number – 020 8825 6000. If people phone these problems in then the message will get through to the supervisors who will give the rubbish collection crews a good talking too. If no-one reports these things the system assumes everything is wonderful.
My overall feeling about this phlegmatic response from the people of Northfield is that maybe our MPs need to get over themselves and get on with some hard work.