This morning, I picked up a copy of todayâ€™s Daily Telegraph, the edition of the paper that includes â€œThe Complete Expenses Files,â€ a 68-page report detailing the revelations about MPsâ€™ expenses that the paper has been publishing every day for the past month or so.
The first thing that struck me about this large-sized document was the front cover, which contains the image of a duck you see here â€“ a handsome Mallard, by the look of it â€“ and which probably sums up everything thatâ€™s ridiculous about this whole MPsâ€™ expenses affair.
The duck relates to an expenses claim by Conservative MP Sir Peter Viggers for a floating house for ducks on a pond. Itâ€™s a fitting symbol â€“ a logo, even â€“ for the ridicule members such as he have brought down upon the institution of Parliament.
Then thereâ€™s the ad from SpecSavers the opticians that appears within the Telegraph itself.
Click on these small images if youâ€™d like to see them in larger sizes.
Each of these ads are amusing, depending on your sense of humour of course.
In the case of Schweppes, the ad continues a campaign the brand has been running for some while in print media. Specsaversâ€™ ad, too, fits with a humorous campaign Iâ€™ve seen in recent 30-second TV spots.
Collectively, though, it adds up to ridicule, humour at the expense (no pun intended) of a system that ought to guarantee respect. Shouldnâ€™t it?
Yet after the Telegraphâ€™s revelations, does Parliament and those within it warrant any respect? While there surely are individual MPs and others at Westminster who do have honour and have not abused the system, isnâ€™t everyone tarred with the same brush in the court of public opinion?
Meanwhile, we can look forward to more revelations from the Telegraph â€“ they’re not done yet, not by any means â€“ as well as the full expenses file being published online at 8am UK time on June 23 as a searchable database of â€œthe chapter and verse of all expenditure by each MP since 2001-02.â€
Also on that day, the Telegraph says it will publish the documentary evidence behind the expenses claim of every MP.
Whoâ€™d want to be be a politician, is what I wonder.