Heroes to zeroes?
MPs risk having turned themselves from heroes to zeroes in the space of just one afternoon.
Having won themselves plaudits for turning down recommended pay increases, they have voted to keep their expenses system - so much criticized - just as it was. In other words, those payments for new kitchens for MPs' second homes go on, as does the notorious "John Lewis list" which sets out maximum payments to purchase a new plasma chest of drawers for that home in London or the constituency.
Now plenty of MPs will point out that the recommended reforms of the system wouldn't have saved the public any money and indeed might have cost more, given the burden of external auditors coming to snoop their way in to MPs' affairs. The controversy that is burning tonight though is whether Gordon Brown's government behaves like every other previous government has done, keeping a hard line on MPs' pay while turning a blind eye to their allowances.
The Tories are claiming that ministers went AWOL during the expenses vote and that if they turned up, the new expenses system would have been passed and not rejected as it was. I'm going to be checking the voting list.