There has been a strange gap developing in the last few days between Tory Bloggers who have been calling for Peter Hain's head and Tory MP's who have been much calmer and less willing to demand his resignation. I thought, perhaps naively that this was a new more balanced Conservative party being fairer to Labour than Labour had been to the Tories in the last years of Tory rule. But I appear to be wrong.
This morning it turns out that Gideon Osborne has had problems with donations received to run his office. The scale of Mr Osborne's problems can be seen when the donations he has properly failed to disclose are five times that of Peter Hain, calling just short of half a million pounds. I wondered if this was why the Tory front bench have been so cool on demanding Hain's head on a plate.
The donation problems though do raise an important point. Are the rules about donations clear enough ? After all, both Hain and Osborne are not stupid men, so for them or their teams to make such seemingly obvious mistakes does lead me to ask if the House of Commons are offering clear and swift advice and whether new advice should be issued. It is clear that Osborne sought advice but was not given the support from the proper officials that MP's should get. As to Hain's "oversight", it remains to be seen. However it worries me that two bright men can get caught out like this.