So it looks like MPs are going to step up this afternoon and vote themselves a below inflation pay rise — all for the good of the nation. It would be inspiring but for all the whining and grumbling. But who are the MPs blaming? The answer is both baffling and slightly disturbing.
In the tea rooms and bars, there is a growing sense of enmity towards the Senior Salaries Review Body. This is hard to explain. After all, the independent body did their bit and recommended an above inflation pay rise for MPs. But even this has failed to satisfy the honourable parliamentarians hankering for more pay.
One senior MP told me that there were was a "distinct lack of confidence" in the SSRB and its chair Sir John Baker. "There is a feeling", he whispered, "that they have allowed themselves to be got at by the government on this."
The theory goes like this: the SSRB submitted its first report to ministers months ago, and it looked very different from the third and final version published last week. "Progressively they have eroded what was in the first draft," the MP continued. "It is scandalous."
There is absolutely no evidence for this. But this has not stopped several MPs from believing it. Watch the vote to see just how many. David Maclean, the Tory MP who led the noble movement to exempt MPs from freedom of information laws, has put down an amendment proposing that the review body report to the House of Commons rather than the government.