I've been writing posts which reference the British political class's belief in its own exceptionalism for some months now.
The Parliamentary expenses scandal is the proof of that belief.
In his book 'How the Reformation Happened', Hilaire Belloc recorded how the decline of Catholic belief in the British Isles was more the result of generations growing up without the habit of Catholicism as through any sudden change in public mood. The English Reformation had no Winter Palace moment, no Father Gapon, no Battleship Potemkin; just a slow and steady erasure of habit, abetted by the repetition of the same lies, and to which the forces of truth were too slow to respond.
Precisely the same process of rewriting history through myth-making and outright lies has been at work since at least 1997, and the accession of New Labour. We are not 'a nation of immigrants'; never have been. Yet that is the official lie, designed to condition the people into a way of thinking from which they can never be turned aside, which began to appear shortly after that date. Privatisation robs a man of his goods; cultural privatisation, the redefining of a culture according to the whims of a rather freakish cultural elite, is vastly more insidious. No doubt the plan is to say it often enough to ensure it seeps into the common consciousness, to become an accepted habit of thought; the advance of minority parties shows it to have failed massively.
Friedmanism is a philosophy which cannot exist within a spirit of intellectual competition, which is perhaps why so many Friedmanite regimes have been politically oppressive. Wherever Friedmanism appears, the lawbook has to be rewritten to accommodate it. It is ironic that a philosophy based on the virtue of competiton can stand no competition itself. It is elite guff, of and for the rich. The Friedmanite neoliberal is not content to crush, stamp upon and pauperise his fellow man and rob him of his share of common goods in the names of freedom and market forces; the victim must also consent to the process. Yet the expenses scandal is proof that the people do not consent to the development of a Latin American-style political elite. This is a very hopeful thing.
From now on, our politicians will just have to learn that their careers are time-limited; and that the best things in life are sometimes not as free as they'd like.