I FEEL a bit sorry for politicians. I certainly feel sorry for local councillors and marginally less so for our MPs.

But I’m not sure where I stand with our elected members of the European Parliament. I’ll come back to them later.

I’ve met a few MPS in my time, including the odd Cabinet member, and I’ve generally found them to be decent, hardworking people who went into politics because they wanted to change things for the better.

Of course, once they actually get into Parliament, they all seemed to get crushed by the monolithic apparatus of Government and for a lot of them, their crusading zeal simply ebbs away to be replaced with platitudes and compromise.

You sort of get the feeling that many decisions are made with one eye on narrow majorities and ensuring they retain power rather than on what is actually right or good.

As a natural-born cynic, I believe this is a curse of all parties.

I don’t have a particular political axe to grind here.

But sometimes politicians are their own worst enemies. I marvel at the hubris of those MPs who thought it was ok to fiddle their expenses.

Let’s not forget that they owe their very existence as political beings to the people who vote for them.

They work for us and part of their job is to judge the mood of the people.

That’s one of the arts a skilled politician needs to have in abundance.

How then, can someone rise to Cabinet level and still not recognise the impact revelations about second house expenses claims would have, not just on the individual, but on her party and the political class as well?

But I still feel sorry for most politicians.

By and large, they do a difficult job, sometimes under a great pressure and frankly, they are not paid enough.

I want the very best people running my country and my council, not just those who can afford to do it.

For that, they should be well paid, very well paid.

I find it almost impossible to come to terms with the fact that a Prime Minister’s salary is, in many cases, less that the chief executive of a local council.

Something is very wrong there.

If I had my way, all our politicians – local and national – would earn significantly more than they do at the moment but any caught fiddling their expenses would face mandatory prison sentences.

Harsh but fair, I think.

In any event, the members of Great British Electorate get the chance to have our say about some of our representatives next month when the European elections take place, with some areas also having local council elections as well.

I am no political pundit but I suspect UKIP may do particularly well in the Euro elections.

Now there’s one of life’s ironies, a party that doesn’t want to be in Europe getting more representatives elected to the very body it bitterly opposes.

I confess I am a bit of a Europhile. I like being in Europe but I don’t think the system is perfect by any stretch of the imagination.

But while the recent revelations about Parliamentary expenses may have damaged the Westminster glitterati, I wonder just what damage is being done to its European cousin by the row surrounding Nigel Farage.

At the time of writing, Mr Farage had stated the national newspaper claims regarding his expenses were wide of the mark and he was taking legal advice to clear his name.

I hope the truth comes out, but the damage, I think, has been done yet again to the public perception of the party.

Generally speaking, most people don’t dig deep into the background of stories, they deal in headlines and general impressions.

As a result, all politicians will be tarred with the same brush, whether or not they deserve it.

It will be really interesting to see how all this plays out, given that the result of the Euro election doesn’t have an immediate and direct outcome in our governance, not in the way a general election does.

It strikes me the Euro election is almost perfect for the much-loved ‘protest vote’ but just who will be protesting about what remains to be seen.