Many people who have undertaken detailed studies of the allowances claims of one or more Liberal Democrat MPs may find themselves rolling on the floor laughing at the self-righteous primping and posturing of dear old Nick Clegg MP in today's Daily Telegraph.
"Will demand for change continue or will the political establishment succeed in sweeping it under the carpet?" the clown Clegg asks. He should start by asking Paul "Bananas" Rowen MP, Lib Dem MP for the multiply deprived and shoddily run town of Rochdale, and a so-called front bench spokesman, what on earth he is up to, under carpet sweeping wise.
Gravy Train Paul - a bogaciously burgeoning body builder, alas in the manner of Sir Cyril Smith MBE rather than Arnie Schwarzenegger - has been threatening legal action against Labour Prospective MP Simon Danczuk over light-hearted leaflets questioning his allowances in a basic democratic accountability, free speech kind of way.
Albeit with some Labourite flier-writer calling Rowen "bananas" over allowances claims, including, naturally enough ... a 40p banana. And another Labourite flier-designer crystallizing the public mood against most MPs of all parties with the gravy train composite above. Zeitgeist in pen and ink.
Though to be fair GT Paul is more likely to be seen with an Old Sozzled Henn than with a Long Deep Screw On the Beach, or Between the Sheets, or whatever that cocktail he's grasping is supposed to be.
If this is libel The Guardian and The Mirror have each joined the fun by reporting Rowen's absolute lack of legal judgement. As it were. No more slumming around in the New Statesman and the Eye for Rochdale Libdemologists. This is big time bananas this is.
The sections on the leaflets apparently penned by Mr Danczuk seem pretty measured and reasonable, and the ensemble even with witty cartoons and so on more responsible and reasonable than much of Rowen's teams under and over the radar personal attack shenanigans. Character assassinations on priests and deceased community leaders for goodness sake! Attempts to resuscitate lies of decades past! Vicious phone calls and emails or threats thereof!
Meanwhile Gravy Train Paul, or Growin' Rowen perhaps?, whose team has now collectively trousered more than a million pounds in pay and allowances from the taxpayer, seems to be not untypical of at least some of his Lib Dem MP colleagues in the region. Exploiting various little angles and gimmicks on the allowances regime. In fact there's a bit of a pattern emerging, for Lib Dems only.
All these wheezes, GT Paul suggests, "within the rules" as he sees them:
money laundering fund raising mechanism;
"What are they up to?" people ask. "Who pays such and such and thingymejig?", "What are they all supposed to be doing anyway?", "Why does no-one much go to his advice sessions? Is he crap?", "Are they really cooking beans on a camp stove in there? Instead of patronising local kebab, pizza, fish and beer businesses?"
To say that these applications of allowances, provided by the tax-payer, and these other arrangements are "within the rules" seems a bit of a stretch to put it mildly. I'd quote the good book and call them "grey areas" myself. Bananas, possibly.
But, ho hum. They may be "within the rules".
But the question is not "within the rules?" anymore anyway. Now the public's sense of right and wrong has been re-calibrated the question for Rowen is quite different. Are these arrangements for tax money acceptable and defensible anyway?
Point is, Nick Clegg needs to stop spouting plagues on other parties' houses. He needs to roll up his sleeves up and/or divert the River Roch down to Drake Street. To clear the continuous supply of horse or perhaps donkey doings from Growin' Rowen's stinking stables.
Clegg again raises the prospect of the sort of US-style "Recall Ballot" that would see Rowen out of a job in a flash. LDV also suggests he emphasises the importance of electoral reform for the health of British democracy:
Frankly, there are far too many MPs, and far too many of them can do what they like because they’re in a safe seat. They know that they could put a blue or red rosette on the back end of a donkey and they’d still win because they only need to gain a minority of the votes in their area.
There are far too many Lib Dem MPs I'll give you Nick. There are also some RAW nutty slackers in Rochdale and others who might argue that the Lib Dems HAVE actually stuck a yellow rosette on the back end of a donkey and performed just this trick themselves. Eeeyore! Eeeyore!
STOP PRESS: Though the Red RAW boys are now repeating Lib Dem chit chat that's gathering momentum. Suggesting that those Lib Dems have had enough of the out to grass former demon deputy head-teacher. The Lib Dems may be planning to change donkeys midstream.