Sickening stuff in today’s papers. Tomorrow’s Panorama news programme, trailed in today’s Sunday Times, tells of three Labour peers revealing their willingness to accept cash to use their influence to push for new laws to benefit particular business interests. Their is an audio recording Lord (Jack) Cunningham, the former Cabinet Office minister, haggling for a payment of £144,000 and videos of two of his House of Lords colleagues bragging how the Parliamentary rules are flouted by the ‘swapping of interests’ whereby peers ask questions and host events on each other’s behalves. This “happens all the time” according to Lord Mackenzie of Framwellgate. No wonder the article asks whether a vast part of the House of Lords has become ‘infested’. This all follows Friday’s resignation of that Tory whip, Patrick Mercer, also over cash-for-questions. And if this isn’t enough, apparently a group of Tory MPs have come up with proposals that immigration visa’s be auctioned off to the highest bidders. The proposal, based around ideas of Gary Becker a Nobel prize-winning economist goes on the suggest that “skilled migrants with no savings would be able to take out loans from employers”. These proposals will never see the light of day but that they should even show their face is indicative of the whiff of today’s public climate.