According to today's poll in the Telegraph, a majority of voters blame MPs rather than the system in which they operate for the scandal over expenses. Two thirds of those questioned agreed that there was "nothing fundamentally wrong with Britain's constitution providing that MPs are honest and competent".
It's astonishing, and very reassuring, that, amidst all the headless chickenery and idiot talk of texting people with info on the progress of various bills through Parliament, the mass of voters, while intensely angry, remain remarkably level-headed about the basics of this crisis.
The political class, so well described and dissected by Peter Oborne in his 'The Triumph of the Political Class' has been brought low by a money matter, rather like Al Capone was got, in the end, for some quite measly tax evasion. It wasn't, of course, the main cause of his notoriety.
The same can be said of our political establishment. Peter Hitchens, writing yesterday in the Mail, is the only commentator who has really got the measure of the situation. Years of being talked down to, or simply ignored, over such issues as social breakdown, unlimited immigration and rising crime are fuelling the current feelings of revulsion against those in power. When Hitchens made this point on the This Week programme recently, Portillo and Abbott could barely muster a response.
People have learned to live with a massive failure of will on the part of those who govern, or aspire to govern, this country. They increasingly perceive politicians not as their representatives but as people there to tell them that they are simply wrong in their concerns.
With their talk of 400 MPs and fixed term Parliaments, there is no sign that the parties have quite got this.