RICHARD ORD: Talking politics from the (toilet) seat of power
Good to see so many politicians coming forward with the cure for insomnia.
What better way to get yourself to sleep on an evening than by poring over your local MP’s tax returns?
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has called for more transparency following the startling revelations about David Cameron’s father in the so-called Panama Papers saga.
I say startling, but that may be overstating matters.
Unless you thought David Cameron saved up his paper round money to get to Eton, you’re unlikely to be startled to discover he had a rich dad. And even less startled to be told his rich dad took advantage of our wobbly tax system.
The only startling thing about the story is the use of ‘Panama Papers’ rather than ‘Panama-gate’ in the headlines. Newspapers must be bored with adding ‘gate’ to the end of the words to let us know we must throw our hands up in horror. If only they would tire of showing Kim Kardashian’s backside.
Transparency is the buzzword of the day. Corbyn has called on his MPs to publish their tax returns and business interests in the spirit of openness while calling on Cameron to resign.
In the Ord house, our two boys must feel like the Prime Minister at the moment.
My wife demands transparency in all that they do.
Our 15-year-old, Bradley, in particular, is under the cosh. His every movement is monitored by his mum.
While national journalists rummage through Cameron’s tax returns, scrutinising his every transaction, so Bradley’s mother trawls through Bradley’s Facebook and Instagram posts to expose his wrongdoing.
Not that we have any evidence of wrongdoing, but like all teenage sons he is guilty until proven innocent.
My wife was particularly annoyed to discover that he had begun communicating with his friends via Snapchat, a mobile phone app that deletes all trace of the message within seconds of posting.
“It’s as if he doesn’t trust us,” she said. The fact that she had crawled into his bedroom and was scrolling through his personal mobile phone messages, at midnight, as he slept, suggested that he may have a point.
Our Isaac, aged 12, is not so much of a worry.
Like all good younger brothers he is a master at the art of deflection. He operates as a supergrass, snitching on his brother at every opportunity to draw attention away from his own misdemeanours. If anything, he’s too open. While his brother hides away in his bedroom, demanding that we knock before entering, our Isaac has an open door policy for everyone.
And that open door policy holds even when he is doing his business on the toilet! Open door/open bowels.
He is unsettlingly comfortable holding a conversation while simultaneously evacuating his bowels.
On that evidence, perhaps he has a future in politics.