Yesterday I wrote about the sophistry of certain Lib Dem MPs in defending David Laws; today, certain media commentators seem to have caught the bug – people like Matthew Parris in The Times, Julian Glover, and Michael White in The Guardian. I don’t know if this is because Westminster correspondents have decided to close ranks with the MPs in order to try and draw an line under the whole expenses affair (after all, this isn’t a party political matter: whilst Parris and Glover are Tory-boys, White clearly isn’t), but their attempts to downplay the extent of Laws’ culpability simply don’t pass muster.

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It’s been highly amusing and more than a little infuriating to see Liberal Democrat after Liberal Democrat contorting themselves into ever tightening knots of sophistry in order to explain away David Laws’ misdemeanor. Most laughable is the one put forward by the ever-risible Lembit Opik that this is simply a homophobic witch-hunt; most pathetic, the old saw that “he’d done nothing wrong”.

Well, yes he had because claiming 40 grand from the taxpayer to give to his partner is explicitly against the rules set out in 2006, and since taxpayers are rightly hopping mad about the whole expenses scandal it behoves the Liberal Democrats to wake up and realise they can no longer rely on their previous image of being cleaner than the others simply because…well, because they’re Liberal Democrats.

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