From unthinkable to unavoidable
There is nothing like the whiff - or should that be the stench - of scandal to concentrate the minds of our political leaders.
What was unthinkable just a few weeks ago has suddenly become unavoidable.
For David Cameron the stories of cash for moats and manure was both a threat and an opportunity. A threat to his claim to have changed and modernised the Conservative Party but also an opportunity to demonstrate leadership in doing just that.
As a result, some Tory MPs are writing very large cheques tonight.
Others are waiting nervously for the choice their leader says they'll face between paying up or getting out of the party.
Still more will lose a substantial slice of what they've come to regard as their legitimate income - as they are no longer able to claim for things they once could.
Labour who've been left trailing in David Cameron's wake, have tonight rushed to say that they would go further still - limiting the generous mortgage payments which the Tory leader, amongst others, benefits from to the tune of over £24,000 a year. An awful lot of money but just one receipt.
None of this, of course, will be enough to silence those who complain that politicians only said and agreed to change after being caught with their hands in the till.
None of this will rescue the careers of once rising stars or senior backbench figures who will struggle to recover from the publication of their expenses claims.