I sat watching Barack Obama with the same sense of expectation, hope and trepidation as millions of people around the world whilst he fluffed his inauguration oath and delivered a speech that was powerful in its oratory but still short in delivering a roadmap to deliver the promised change.

However, this is not what moved me to comment on a subject that is way out of my remit in “Making Carshalton Central”. Instead, it was the desperation of Denis McShane, the Labour MP who jumped on Obama fever to issue a press release to the Guardian explaining that Labour MPs were hard done by because Tories called a vote about the European response to the small matter of global economic meltdown.

Feeling pretty pleased with himself, he has obviously forgotten that:
1. MPs are elected to Parliament to debate, vote and legislate, not watch TV.
2. There might have been one, two or a thousand of other opportunities to watch one of the most significant inauguration ceremonies in the short history of the United States of America.
3. His ‘John Lewis’ list must extend to a video recorder.

Simple message to Dennis McShane MP: stop wondering why politicians are as popular as bankers (estate agents are starting to get the sympathy vote) and get a grip.