Wordled: Richard Lambert's attack on Westminster

Now that even The Telegraph is giving fewer column inches to the expenses scandal, Smarta, along with the rest of the country, had hoped it had been firmly relegated to the middle pages.

We're now on our fourth Secretary of State in three years - 'which may not be exactly the best approach to building long-term strategies'.

Not so: During a speech at one of the CBI's annual dinners last night, director general Richard Lambert told the audience most politicians are still 'wholly preoccupied with that's going on within Westminster village'.

Smarta can't help but think actually, politicians' preoccupation with themselves is a) nothing new and b) working out quite nicely, thank you very much.

Far be it from us to begin suggesting things are actually going well, but without the usual bickering over lending and red tape, this week has seen several quite positive stories for business: the news that the Pound has hit a 2009 high against the Euro, for example - or what about the revelation earlier this week that after months of layoffs and three-day weeks, the UK's manufacturing output rose very slightly during April. 

In fact, we suggest a good idea would be to enclose Westminster in some sort of large, glass dome - where politicians can caper about and play at running a country and everyone else can get on with what they need to get on with.

This week's big words:

Public (12 mentions)

Contrary to popular belief in Westminster, not necessarily always suffixed by the terms 'opinion polls' or 'spending'. Public opinion of politicians is at an all-time low, and while we are impressed at Brown's decision to bring in Tim Berners-Lee, Alan Sugar and, reportedly, Martha Lane Fox to help the government to 'connect with the people', we're going to hold our breath until we see results.

Need (8 mentions)

"We need to be giving serious thought to... the need for radical reforms," Lambert told the audience - and Gordon Brown seems to agree there is a need for constitutional reform. What form this will take, though, and whether it will be effective, is still very much in question.

Years (8 mentions)

According to Lambert's speech, it will be eight years before the Budget is back in balance; in the next 25 years or so energy prices will increase dramatically if the government doesn't take some tough decisions on energy policy in the next couple of years, and we're now on our fourth Secretary of State in three years - 'which may not be exactly the best approach to building long-term strategies'.

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