Dating in high wycombe
In short, the Commons is set to become a chamber of professional politicians, dependent on the taxpayer, and therefore remote from the millions of Britons who aren't - especially the hard-pressed and overtaxed middle classes.The tragic result of the expenses disaster will be that the House will speed in this direction even faster.
But at least when misdemeanours took place, they weren't funded, by and large, with taxpayers' money - as the recent expenses abuses were.
Then, under Tony Blair, it ceded more responsibilities to the new Scottish Parliament, and the Welsh and Northern Ireland Assemblies. So did the executive - as the size of Government swelled and the number of Ministers proliferated.
The courts flourished, too, in this publicly funded bonanza. Yet as the authority of councillors and MPs shrank, their staff grew.
The Conservatives drew from the City, business, the law and farming.
Labour recruited from the shop and the factory floor.
A new MPs' debating forum, Westminster Hall, came into being. Much of it, however, is displacement activity - a hamster wheel on which MPs ceaselessly scramble, as if to justify their Parliamentary presence.