I agree with David Aaronovitch much more often than I disagree with him, but it does sometimes happen that we disagree, and today being such an occasion, I shall mark it here - in the interests of conversational variety and, of course, devotion to the high road of truth. On the expenses issue (still), David says:
The majority of MPs discovered to be doing unlovely things with expenses (themselves, so far, a minority of parliamentarians) are only guilty of what we would be guilty of if someone gave us a chance.
There are two points I'd make in response to this. First, it's internally inconsistent. If it's just a minority of parliamentarians - even if only so far - doing unlovely things with expenses, why is it 'we', unqualified, who would be guilty if given the chance? Be charitable; maybe we're as good as our MPs. Second, I'm put in mind of what Hannah Arendt wrote concerning Eichmann: in a nutshell, and my words rather than hers, that there's a difference that matters morally between the wrongs that some have actually done and the wrongs which merely might be done by others in certain circumstances. Careful readers will understand that in referring to Arendt I don't mean to say that MPs on the fiddle are as bad as Adolf Eichmann (though, who knows how they'd behave if etc...), only to reiterate a thought about guilt as opposed to potentiality.