Daily View 2×2: 4 February 2010

Good morning, on this misty day which in history saw three awful earthquakes – in Haicheng, Guatemala and Afghanistan.

This day is a birthday to American civil rights campaigner Rosa Parks (pictured) as well as to the American vice-president famously unable to spell “potato”, Dan Quayle.

Deaths on the 4th February include Liberace and American novelist novellist writer Patricia Highsmith, who wrote Strangers on a Train, The Talented Mr Ripley, and – according to Wikipedia at least – the first lesbian novel with a happy ending.

Today is also Facebook’s 6th birthday. How many other 6 year-olds earned $300m last year, had new words entered into dictionaries, and caused moral panic?

2 Big Stories

Legg Report published

Later today, Sir Thomas Legg’s report will be published on Parliament’s website. The Guardian – MPs ordered to pay back more than £1m reports:

The former civil servant charged with probing MPs’ expenses claims will deliver his final, damning verdict on their conduct when he reveals that he has ordered 350 of them to pay back a total of more than £1m.

In a report said to be “devastating” for the reputation of parliament, Sir Thomas Legg will criticise the “culture of deference” MPs created in which they expected Commons officials to unquestioningly pay out for their claims.

Using blunt language, he will accuse MPs of a collapse in their ethics regarding the expenses system. “The whole system lost sight of the Nolan principles,” the report, to be published , will say.

The Daily Express has a rather more trenchant headline – FIDDLING MPS WILL GET AWAY WITH IT and a predictable quote from the Tax Payers’ Alliance.

Final word on this goes to Lib Dem Phil Willis MP:

We had an independent report, we asked for it to be put in place. It should have happened. Instead we’ve had these layers of different processes that have been contradictory and conflicting. We won’t win confidence back if the watchdogs are arguing with each other.

The Car In Front Is Behaving Erratically

Meanwhile, if the car in front appears to be having difficulties keeping to the rules of the road, it may not be the fault of the driver, as the Times reports.

Toyota has suspended the delivery of thousands of new cars as the crisis over defective accelerator pedals threatens to engulf the company.

The Japanese manufacturer, the biggest car company in the world, revealed last night that 180,865 vehicles in the UK might be affected.

Accelerator pedals on seven models, it said, may get stuck. It said that it would be recalling models in the coming days to fit a new part to solve the problem. The recall affects about one in nine of the 1.6 million Toyotas on British roads.

There’s never been a better time to buy an Audi.

2 Must-Read Blog Posts

What are other Liberal Democrat bloggers saying? Here are two posts that have caught the eye from the Liberal Democrat Blogs aggregator:

  • Nigel Griffiths calendar
  • No, not the big one from Pie in the Sky on a Calendar Girls-style naked photoshoot, but some rather unfortunate campaigning from an MP who has just decided to retire, not fight on.

    Stephen’s Linlithgow Journal has the details.

  • Electoral Reform
  • Sanjay Samani argues that change must include the Lords:

    I personally feel that with a combination of reforming the House of Lords and the House of Commons in a co-ordinated, joined up manner, we can get the best of both worlds. Between the two Houses we can have both single constituency MPs elected by AV, multi member constituencies voted by STV and if necessary, some national or at least regional proportionality.

    That is why the House of Lords must be reformed along with the House of Commons. It is incredible that after 13 years and 3 Labour Governments we still have an unelected House of Lords. Few would have believed that was possible back in 1997.

Spotted any other great posts in the last day from blogs that aren’t on the aggregator? Do post up a comment sharing them with us all.

Coming up later today:

  • Good news for Alex Folkes
  • Social media and politics – our series continues
  • Political quiz – how is your knowledge of Scandinavian politics of the 1950s?
  • How to get LDV by email
  • And Chris White taking on private companies.
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