So Speaker Martin is resigning. It is hardly surprising. He has never been a popular Speaker, indeed some parliamentarians have been seeking his departure practically since the moment he took the chair. Certainly he has not covered himself in glory. His handling of the expenses debacle - the oversight of the system itself, the failed attempt to halt the publication, the grumpiness in the wake of the press reports - has been truly terrible. Error has been heaped upon error. But those who have called so vociferously for his scalp in the last few days have themselves made an error if they think that his dismissal will somehow transform the reputation of this Parliament. It won't. Speaker Martin can't be blamed for the greed, lack of judgement and contempt for the public on the part of a great many MPs that the dodgy expenses claims reveal. None of this will be forgotten. It will be seen how much can be forgiven.
Martin's unseating has been an exercise in distraction of which Derren Brown would be proud. But unlike Mr Brown's illusions, there can be no applause at the end of the show.