Crime and punishment, parliamentary style
MP Derek Conway fraudulently pays his son £40000 of taxpayers money. When it’s found out, he gets suspended for a few days (fairy nuff), and told to repay £13000. A clear message: if you’re an MP, fraud pays, even if you get caught.
I wonder how many other Honourable Members are thinking “there but for the grace of …“. Or why else would he get to keep 70% of his plunder? Kind-of a plea bargain: admit to just enough to avoid a process noone wants to go through?
It looks a much simpler case than the government’s current funding troubles. The govt. is author of it’s own misfortunes (they made the rules they keep getting caught breaking), but I don’t understand the purpose of those rules sufficiently to comment. Thus Conway’s abuse seems much more clear-cut. On the other hand, it’s a throwback to pre-Blair times, when sleaze came from individual MPs, not from the heart of government. That makes it less important.
 My suspicion is that the legislation was directed at big funding sources for other parties. That’s happened before, too.