Of the two MPs so far profiled (Clarke and Redwood) both with lucrative alternative sources of income from the financial services industry, I have not noticed any significant input from them in terms of warning of the impending crisis and calling for action.
How sad when one of my blogging heroes attacks another. A quick dip into Redwood's archive shows he has been a prescient commentator and has supplied much timely and relevant analysis.
How I wish he had been a favourite of the beeb rather than the ghastly "vince" cable.
Mr Redwood is not a "blogger" in the normal sense. He is a Member of Parliament, paid relatively well for the job, with considerable expenses and huge resources (see here
). As an MP, he has an array of weapons that he can use, as an individual or as part of the collective.
He can ask parliamentary questions - written and oral - he can hold Westminister Hall debates, be can start Early Day Motions. He can intervene on other, related debates, he can write in the various House journals, he has priviledged access to ministers and civil servants, whom he can demand to see. He has good access to the media and, as a senior politician in the Conservative Party, he has access to his own hierarchy.
Furthermore, as an "insider" in the financial services industry, he could have (and, as his blog shows) did have a fair idea that the system was going belly-up and why.
The question is, therefore, why did he not make a bigger noise? Why did he not enlist his fellow MPs - some 30 of which have links with the financial services industry - and make an even bigger noise? Why did he not use all the weapons at his disposal and make a real nuisance of himself?
Of his "timely and relevant analysis", therefore, I am totally underwhelmed. He is paid to look after the public interest, to scrutinise the Executive (the government) and to make a bloody nuisance of himself. As far as I am concerned, he was asleep on the job.
His only mitigation is that all his colleagues were as well. The failure was collective, but while that is a mitigating factor, it does not absolve him from his own personal responsiblity. You may be tolerant of it. I am not so. I have this old fashioned idea that public servants should earn their bloody money.