When we finally hear what the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner has to say on the David Laws’ case we’ll finally know the truth of the episode.
I feel intensely sorry for David Laws and his friend. It seems that a desire to keep their private life private may – may – have caused a misjudgment by Laws.
I suspect his resignation was inevitable in the end. I am sure Laws will bounce back.
What is a great shame is that David Laws was almost uniquely placed to pull the UK out of its financial deficit in a humane way.
Of course, David Laws shouldn’t resign and/or shouldn’t be sacked. This is a most depressing furore and I wager that the Comissioner will not raise any eyebrows over this technicality of interpretation of “treat each other as spouses”. (Their relationship was not known to family or friends, they had separate bank accounts and social lives). Compare Laws’ episode with the thumping great flipping of Labour ministers such as Hoon. There was no question of Hoon being asked to resign so why the hell should Laws resign over a finely nuanced semantics issue, from which he made no personal gain?
If anyone wants to know the real motive behind all this, just have a look at the front page of the Telegraph today – i.e the hard copy version. A “secret lover” headline with photos of Laws and his friend. It’s disgusting.
I had hoped that the election had drawn a line under Telegraph expense stories. I’m happy to wait for the verdict of the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner on David Laws. The matter seems to boil down to interpretation of the rules, the definition of partner and regarding onesleves as living like spouses or not. David Laws’ explanation that he and his friend had a relationship unknown to friends and family, and that they have had separate bank accounts and social lives, seems entirely plausible.
But I feel as though we are finding out more than we ought to know. I feel great sympathy for David Laws and his friend, having had this thrust upon them. David Laws is obviously a very serious and intensely private person. I can quite understand why he and his friend wanted to keep their private life private.
Quite frankly, I am sick of these expenses stories. They come out and then ten thousand people (yes – including me!) state a view based on the blinking Telegraph report. Then everyone moves on to other stories and the verdict of the Parliamentary Commissioner comes out, one way or the other.
I am mightily fed up with the whole thing, particularly if it has now got to the stage of effectively and very publicly “outing” two decent people.
For deeper thoughts on this matter, see Sara Bedford. I agree with everything she says.
I’m quite moisty eyed this morning. It’s wonderful to see Floella Benjamin being made a peer. I saw her once at a conference discussion on adult education and she was very impressive in both her commitment to and knowledge of the subject. And of course, I seem to remember watching her with my (then) two year old as she (Floella) did an impression of a steam train on the telly.
Also, it is enormously great to see Meral Ece being made a peer. Her blog has provided a very fair commentary on many matters, especially those in relation to equality.
And if I might go local for my third bit of mosity eyes, many, many congratulations to Lee Dillon on being made the youngest ever mayor of Thatcham. I have known Lee since he was a 17 year old volunteer LYDS-type deliverer. He has a easy-going and affable character. He’ll make a superb mayor of Thatcham.