UK News

Insights from the UK and beyond

Celebrities fill void of confidence in British politics


These days in Britain, it’s no honour to be a Member of Parliament.

Begrimed by the scandal over their petty expense claims, MPs have fallen so low in the public’s esteem as to displace even bankers and journalists from their usual ranking as the dregs of society.

No wonder. The litany of petty claims revealed by a national paper ranges from the comical — charging a parliamentary expense account for viewing pornographic movies — to the frankly injurious, in the case of MPs who hoarded receipts for garden ornaments to beautify their second homes.

Now the major parties are culling their ranks. The Speaker of the House of Commons went, Labour’s Junior Justice Minister fell on his sword, and a top Tory advisor was forced to step down over his second home claims. Both parties promise more sacrifices in this vein.

So, what now? Well, celebrities are what, in a distinctly British twist.

As parliament’s chastened lawmakers have lost the right to wax ethical on any subject, celebrities of all calibre have stepped in to fill the void. Promising cleaner politics and fresh faces, they have the nation’s attention – for now.