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Nelson's column

FURIOUS protesters have been outside the Commons for days now, their chants of raw anger echoing around the building.
 
They’re Sri Lankans, sympathising with the Tamil Tigers. But to our terrified MPs they may as well be taxpayers baying for blood.
 
What started as a scandal is mutating into a constitutional crisis. And one that will have to end not just in reform, but in revolution.
 
Britain hasn’t gone in for guillotines in our long history — but people weren’t as angry in the old days. Back then, the ruling class squandered their OWN money. Now they’re spending ours and have been caught red-handed.
 
Bose hi-fi systems, moat dredging, coffee makers, plant pots — you name it, you paid for it. The MPs want a slap on the wrist. The public mood is for a harsher punishment — Saudi Arabian-style, if possible.
 
David Cameron quickly understood the severity of the situation and looked like a leader last week.
 
“Our politics is reviled,” he says. “Parliament is held in scorn. Our people have had enough.” He’s exactly right.
 
But the Tories aren’t seen as the solution — with their moats, and their gardens that take four hours to mow at OUR expense. This is why Cam’s words will not be enough. If he wants to be seen as the solution, only action will do.
 
By now, we know the problem. Staff in the Fees Office of Parliament were coaching our biddable MPs on how to milk the taxpayer. And, as we all know, this rotten system had no shortage of rotten MPs hungry for money.
 
So Parliament needs a deep cleanout. And we know who sits atop the system. Michael Martin, the gormless Speaker.
 
This uber-stooge fought reform every inch. He spent £300,0000 of our money on a legal battle to keep MPs’ expenses private. Medieval protocol means no MP criticises him. But I’d say it’s time to tear up the old rulebook. The MPs have lost all moral authority. Someone needs to take charge.
 
This is the decision Cameron is wrestling with this weekend. Does he try to depose the Speaker?
 
Or does he do nothing, and be seen as just another stooge — and British democracy could sink further into crisis. With Euro elections soon, millions may punish Westminster by voting for fringe groups. Fine — with one exception.
 
The odious BNP, with its neo- Nazi lodestars and racist ideology, is out there posing as a patriotic alternative.
 
If it fools enough people, Nick Griffin, its thuggish leader, will be on a first- class Eurostar to Brussels at our expense with every chance he’d try to lead the group of fascist MEPs.
 
Of course there is nothing at all British about the BNP.
 
Its ideology is a foreign one which has never flourished here. In fact, we fought a war to defeat it. Since that war, no Nazi copycat party has ever been sent to any parliament.
 
The Euro election could change that, and not because Britain has turned racist.
 
But because Westminster parties have failed us so badly.

 

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