But I'm happy to report that not all MPs are dishonest, lazy and dumb. I've been in correspondence with Paul Farrelly, Labour MP for Newcastle-under-Lyme. It's a nice place, occupied by Mrs. Bouquets who all claim they're not from Stoke. Well you are.
But I digress. Mr Farrelly - not a firebrand socialist by anyone's standards, but a decent and principled man - is a member of the Culture/Media Select Committee. That's right, the one that roasted Rupert Murdoch and Pals recently. This is his approach, and I think it's the right one:
For all the easy press comment, though, from my time as a journalist, most press conferences are hardly disciplined or forensic.
I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of times other hacks allowed those who knew their stuff to ask all the questions needed, and to back each other up, to get a better story for everyone.
With Select Committees (unlike press conferences), the great ally is time, so you get your turn eventually to pursue the trails that need following. We had the Murdochs there for three hours, not just an hour.
What I wanted to do was to follow the evidence their lot had given previously - and to get them to blame people for misleading us, and for the cover-up since. Murdoch Senior duly did that - and their lawyers and former Head of Legal, who were dumped in it, are now starting to sing in their own defence.
I also wanted them to admit, for the first time, to still paying the legal fees of the private eye at the heart of this Glenn Mulcaire (which they were doing, despite the apology to Milly Dowler's family). The intention there was to get them to stop - which they now have = so he ends up cutting a deal and singing as well.
This now looks to have worked. The edifice is cracking and they are fighting like rats in a sack.More power to him.