Legg wants to ban spouses working for their MP husbands, or offspring being given juicy little researching jobs by Daddy or Mummy. Good soundbite - but we know it can't work because firstly it would be discriminatory, and secondly these experts in loophole-discovery will simply cross-employ to keep the cash in the family.
Kelly wants MPs no longer to have the right to claim mortgage interest, but instead to be made to rent their second homes. Good soundbite - but we know it won't work because of a little thing called 'Buy-To-Let'. MP #1 buys a property, lets it to MP #2, who claims the rental back. Meanwhile, MP #2 buys a property, and lets it to MP #1. Who claims the rental back. Two mortgages paid, two properties owned, two little piggies with snouts still in the trough and a placated populace. Simples.
The sad fact is, all this hair-shirt wearing, all these enquiries and announcements are simply the preparatory steps in organising yet another inflation-busting salary increase for our glorious leaders.
Well, I have a small suggestion - a solution to the vexed question of MP's accommodation.
MPs are (supposedly) public servants. And while I appreciate that a majority do need somewhere to stay in London, as public servants they should be required to adhere to the same rules as other public servants.
When servicemen are stationed in the UK, they reside in barracks. They don't have to do so - they can stay wheresoever they choose - but if they want to live somewhere outside the military fences, they do so out of their own pocket. I was based in barracks when I was in Scotland, and also in Northwood. It's the way the military works - and it makes sense for MPs.
We are currently spending an astronomical sum of money building the Olympic Village to house athletes, coaches and various hangers-on in 2012. That means that after the Games we will have a nicely-contained area with plenty of accommodation available for use. It will already have been built with the coin of the public purse, and given the international nature of the sporting event it was built for will have good communication links. It will have excellent public transport, and because it's a single location will be easier and cheaper to secure and patrol than numerous private residences.
A self-contained accommodation complex for MPs with good communications links, meeting areas, plenty of car parking, canteen facilities and everything else the genuine public servant needs, all within a short Tube journey of Westminster.
So - save the long-running inquiries into what should be claimed, what's allowable and how it can be massaged into the Member's wallet. You want to be an MP? You get a healthy salary, and when in London you can stay in barracks. If you don't want to, you don't have to - but you pay for your alternative accommodation out of your own pocket. You know, like a normal person.
Use the Olympic Village as the Parliamentary Crashpad. You know it makes sense*.
*Plus, if you stick 'em all in one place I'll know exactly where to put the tactical nuclear warhead.