I generally steer clear of tarring all politicians with the 'greedy bastards' brush. Regarding MPs, their major crimes, as far as I am concerned, have been the policies they have passed or condoned: kowtowing to big business, the privatisations, the murderous war in Iraq... Those and the careerism. What did the Telegraph say about all of that?
I was part of the left in the Labour Party that was not strong enough to stop all of that. We lost the battle for Labour's soul. The answer now is to rebuild, not to join in the populist, anti-politics hullabaloo.
That said, there are some examples of egregious robbing from the public purse that must be challenged, and Brian Coleman's taxi bills are such. Why do we tolerate him? We grumble about him, we blog about him, we (at least, I do) hope that Barnet Tories get their act together to end his 'political' career soon. But what do we citizens of Barnet do in the public sphere to make our anger known?
I have been canvassing opinion about making a public statement of dissatisfaction that would at least ask for his removal as mayor. The first citizen of Barnet is an embarassment to all the other citizens of Barnet.
But I've had a lukewarm response: it's a distraction, pointless, populist, a bloody good idea (but only from a few). Why? Is this not how politics is done in Barnet? If so, I want a more robust and rude and public politics! Brian Coleman regularly exercises his right to offend, I want mine!