It's a great start.
Regular readers of this blog and Channel Four watchers might remember that I have been banging on about MPs revolving doors salaries for a long time.
Already we know the amounts earned by moonlighting MPs. But now we will know how much time they spend away from parliamentary duties. The Tory MPs bitterly resented this reform but lack the guts to oppose it. In the past a large number of Labour former ministers sank their noses into familiar troughs soon after losing their jobs.
My select Committee PASC has already cross examined one squirming former minister. He failed to explain how a MP doing what he agreed is a 'full time job' had time to do a second job for £70,000. Another manages five outside jobs for an extra £170,000.
Today's decisions brought in sensible immediate reforms. Bigger decisions will be taken by the independent body. The House should agree in advance to accepts the committee's findings whatever they will be.
The per diem allowance was a poor idea that could never work. On the rest of the proposals, Gordon Brown has been successful. Not that any newspapers tomorrow will give him much credit.
A fresh theory on why Thatcher fell.
It was a knife-edge vote when Thatcher failed to get an absolute majority by six votes in her leadership challenge. . A Tory MP who described himself as the best friend of former MP Andrew Hunter told me the tale.
Andrew Hunter was hopelessly devoted to Margaret Thatchers. But she had never spoken to him. In 1989 Hunter was booked for a 'jolly' in Botswana that he was eagerly anticipating. A few days before his safari, the whips asked him to cancel because of a vital that they feared the Government would lose. He cancelled his trip but the vote was won by a handsome majority of 87. His vote made no difference.
The following year the 'jolly' was on offer again and Andrew went to Botswana. He had been there for only ten hours and the whips demanded his return for another narrow vote. He dutifully came back and the vote was won by a majority of 62. Andrew had the right to be angry. On the contrary he was buoyed up.
He explained to my informant, 'For the first time ever Margaret shook my hand in the lobby and said 'Thank you Andrew for coming back to vote for me'". Such is the satisfaction of political idolatry. Sadly it was short lived. The following day Mrs Thatchers passed Andrew in a corridor, sh greeted him, 'Good morning , David' she said.
A promising beautiful friendship was shattered. Andrew took his revenges by voting against her when it mattered. It cost her two votes. Not knowing the names of Andrew and other humble MPs probably did for her.