It is almost 8 weeks since the expenses scandal started to produce a massive upheaval in the politics of the UK. So you would think there would be widespread interest in arguing out what new arrangements can be put in place to see that the scandal is never repeated. But the debate just refuses to take off.
In Parliament : After coming to a rough and ready deal with the leaders of the other parliamentary parties, the Government is pushing through a Parliamentary Standards Bill to try to put the matter to rest. Its Commons' Stages are being rushed through in three days - yesterday, today and tomorrow. If yesterday's proceedings are anything to go by, then only a handful of MPs are themselves willing to contribute to the very matter that has dominated their lives in recent times. The silence is particularly deafening on the Labour side. Excluding the 7 speeches by Front Bench and minor party spokesmen (doing their duty slots) there were 16 speeches by bank-benchers. Only four of these came from the Labour side. The Government side of the House was almost empty. Not one Labour left-winger made as much as an intervention, let alone seeking to speak or even (as far as I could see) showing their presence.
The Committee On Standards in Public Life : Sir Christopher Kelly's Committee is in a peculiar position. They are conducting the inquiry into MPs' expenses and the main three parties leaders have in the past promised to act on whatever the Committee finally recommends. Yet by the Committee report in the autumn, the new Parliamentary Standards Bill is intended to be an Act. So Sir Christopher's recommendations will have to be stuck onto this measure. In the meantime, the media pays little or no attention to what parliament and Sir Christopher's Committee are doing. Nor do the medias' expert commentators seem to come up with any ideas of their own. (If anyone has come across exceptions to this rule, then I would pleased to be supplied with the links).
In the meantime, the Committee on Standards in Public Life has finally managed to publish 102 of the submissions which have been put to it. But that leaves more than 500 submissions still unpublished. Yet some of the material they are sitting on might just hold the efficient secret that will help them resolve this conundrum.
Update 8.15 pm : Two items of significance which have been highlighted during the Commons' debates on the Parliamentary Standards Bill to date appear here and here.