One of these two men is a weak, yellow,

mendacious, dishonourable, duplicitous,

opportunist ditherer. The other is

Mr. David Cameron

Yesterday’s House of Commons vote by MPs voted to thwart even a modest degree of proper scrutiny into how they spend Taxpayers’ money on themselves demonstrates succinctly how this weak Prime Minister fails to provide proper Leadership. Cameron told his Front Benchers to support the move. Brown gave his frontbench a free vote. Result: 69 Ministers and their PPSs ensured the measure’s defeat.

Of the 172 voting down the proposal, no less than 39 were Government Ministers and a further 30 were Parliamentary Private Secretaries (unpaid junior MPs who act as the minister’s liaison with the backbenches). Had Brown lead from the front few if any of these would have gone anywhere near the ‘Aye’ lobby and the whole matter would have ended quite differently. Of the remainder the vast majority were Labour MPs. Only the likes of Anne Widdecombe, Ann & Nicholas Winterton (whose enthusiasm for the bottom of the pork barrel has been well-documented) and a handful of others from other parties voted with 146 Labour MPs to keep the Hon. Member for Eatanswill in the style to which he has become accustomed.

That shocking number tells you all you need to know about the rotten greedy heart of Labour.

The support of the government is of a piece with government support for the Freedom of Information (Amendment) Bill 2007 proposed by David Maclean (Penrith & The Border, Conservative) which would have prevented the operation of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 in respect of MPs expenses. Whilst of late it has been Conservative MPs and MEPs firmly in the frame for having their snouts in the trough, one has always suspected that it was Labour who have the greatest amount to fear from any sort of exposurte of MPs expenses to the clear light of day, not merely for the fact of what they have been claiming but because the enthusiasm of Labour MPs for taking tax off the voters sits pretty badly with the sight of them plunging themselves into the trough up to the neck.

So there we have our gallant Prime Minister who, were he fully in the saddle, could have waved his hand and kept his Front Bench out of the ‘Aye’ lobby. Instead he dares not offend his parliamentary party lest it engender further revolts against his already dissipating authority. Yet again we have been shown a clear technicolour view of the yellow spine of this gutless Prime Minster.

He has become with astonishing rapidity, the most lame lame-duck PM by whom this country has ever had the misfortune to be administered. The political ineptitude of this is striking in one who was purveyed to us by the 313 Labour MPs who voted him into office by acclamation last year as a ‘great statesman and great politician’. One might think that shabby, calculating schemer was nearer the mark.

UPDATE: It is said that Our Dear Leader Gordon Brown was ‘disappointed’ at the result of the vote on expenses in which MPs voted to carry on spending taxpayers’ money on furniture and home improvements. It also appears that:

No 10 sources said that Mr Brown was kept away from the expenses vote by a meeting at Downing Street.

‘It would have been broken up for him if there was a chance of winning but we’d been told there wasn’t,’ an insider said. ‘He is obviously very disappointed.’

So, he would have turned up for a winner, doubtless so that he could garner plaudits for taking a principled stand. But, coward that he is, he elected to skulk in Number 10 doing his Macavity act once more.

Would it not have been infinitely more courageous to have taken the stand even in losing cause? And might not others, particularly his own Cabinet and Government colleagues, have felt constrained by his appearance in the Lobbies to follow his lead, thus overturning the ‘Aye’ vote of shame?

Character will be a major issue at the next election – indeed at any contest at the polls between now and then – and on almost every relevant count this Prime Minister fails to measure up. On this occasion he has given a clear and unambiguous demonstration of his failure of leadership and his deep-seated cowardice. It is for these and other grave character flaws that he has been rumbled by the people.

In addition the electorate has noted that no one in the Cabinet – nay, anywhere in the Lab our Party – seems willing to do anything to put a bit of backbone into their leader. This too will be placed into the account come the time of reckoning. Oblivion beckons.

is the list of Government Ministers and PPSs who brought such shame upon him last night:

Anderson, Mr. David

Austin, Mr. Ian

Bailey, Mr. Adrian

Banks, Gordon

Blackman, Liz

Blackman-Woods, Dr. Roberta

Blizzard, Mr. Bob

Burnham, rh Andy

Campbell, Mr. Alan

Coffey, Ann

Cooper, Rosie

Cunningham, Mr. Jim

Cunningham, Tony

David, Mr. Wayne

Eagle, Angela

Eagle, Maria

Ennis, Jeff

Flint, rh Caroline

Follett, Barbara

Foster, Mr. Michael (Worcester)

Griffith, Nia

Gwynne, Andrew

Hesford, Stephen

Hughes, rh Beverley

Johnson, Ms Diana R.

Jowell, rh Tessa

Joyce, Mr. Eric

Kidney, Mr. David

Lewis, Mr. Ivan

Lucas, Ian

Marris, Rob

McAvoy, rh Mr. Thomas

McCabe, Steve

McCarthy, Kerry

McCarthy-Fry, Sarah

McDonagh, Siobhain

McGovern, Mr. Jim

McGuire, Mrs. Anne

McNulty, rh Mr. Tony

Merron, Gillian

Moon, Mrs. Madeleine

Morden, Jessica

Murphy, rh Mr. Paul

O’Brien, Mr. Mike

Plaskitt, Mr. James

Prentice, Bridget

Robertson, John

Ruane, Chris

Russell, Christine

Seabeck, Alison

Smith, Ms Angela C. (Sheffield, Hillsborough)

Smith, Angela E. (Basildon)

Smith, rh Jacqui

Snelgrove, Anne

Sutcliffe, Mr. Gerry

Tami, Mark

Thomas, Mr. Gareth

Twigg, Derek

Ussher, Kitty

Waltho, Lynda

Ward, Claire

Watson, Mr. Tom

Watts, Mr. Dave

Winterton, rh Ms Rosie

Woodward, rh Mr. Shaun

Woolas, Mr. Phil

Wright, David

Wright, Mr. Iain

Wyatt, Derek