I see a couple of Labour "modernisers" have taken the opportunity of the expenses scandal to launch their own agenda for change. Not the change we need - a fresh crop of politicians untainted by the discredited party machines - but the electoral and parliamentary change that THEY want.
Alan Johnson launches a daring attempt to lead Labour’s renewal today, urging Gordon Brown to offer voters a referendum on electoral reform.
Charming. And what will be on offer? A choice between what they want or what they really want? Some choice! The only referendum we really want is whether to be part of the EU or not - how about we start with that one before we discuss anything else?
“The current public mood of anger and disquiet . . . demands a response,” the Health Secretary writes in The Times today. In an article setting out his modernising credentials, he adds: “We need to overhaul the engine, not just clean the upholstery."
Actually, what we want is to sack the useless grease monkeys who've buggered up the machine and left their filthy pawprints all over the upholstery. Seriously, why would we trust this bunch to tinker with the engine of British democracy when they've sent the last 30 years smashing into it with sledge hammer?
Voters should be given a choice between the “elegant” option of Alternative Vote Plus and the present first-past-the-post system in a referendum held alongside the next general election, he says. “This is a genuinely radical alternative that only Labour in government can facilitate.”
Elegant, my arse! Alternative Vote Plus is about as elegant as an elephant on ice skates. It's a complex, bureaucratic nightmare likely to leave us with even more of a one party state than we are now or governed by coalitions incapable of making the decisions necessary for government to function correctly.
There is nothing much wrong with our current system - it has worked successfully for donkeys years without any fuss. The problem lies with the corrupt, self-serving politicians who now infest our parliament and the overly powerful political parties who dominate the media and the agenda.
What we need to do is hold fast against these "modernisers" whose real intention is not to improve democracy, but to limit it further than they already have done. For the last fifty years they have been conducting a slow motion coup d'etat in Britain, but have been unable to apply the final coup de grace. They see this as their opportunity to do that and we need to be wary of them.