When it comes to climate change, the talk is often about the impact on future generations. The implication is that consequences are still some way off in the future and, despite the scary headlines, we don't need to worry too much about them now. But for those of us who are deeply concerned about the effect carbon emissions are having on people and planet, this isn't helpful.
We will almost certainly never have another chance to see what else Prince Charles has been writing to ministers about, nor indeed what he chooses to lobby them about once he becomes king. Shamefully, the government is determined to change the law to ensure that his secret lobbying is never again exposed to public scrutiny.
The key is to break money's link with status, or to remove the importance of status altogether. True happiness is achieved through introspection, gratitude, helping others and an acceptance of the world around us (see my previous blog). The greed and selfishness of accumulating wealth couldn't be further from achieving that.
So far all this scandal has done is reinforce the perception that many politicians are more interested in making money that representing their constituents. There needs to be fundamental change. At the very least, if second jobs are to be allowed then the taxpayer should not be expected to subsidise them as well.
Over the last decade or two, it has been interestingly the fashion for many charities to consider themselves political 'think tanks' who believe they have the ability and indeed the responsibility to lobby governments on behalf of the people they claim to represent, particularly in the field of disability.
Future governments will see this for what it is - a joke of an act, aimed at cleaning up political sleaze by deflecting the problem onto anyone but the house itself. We have an ignorantly narrow definition of lobbying, a register that will not cover 80% of lobbyists, and a scope so bizarrely narrow it could only be supported by those who haven't the faintest clue about lobbying.
The controversial Lobbying Bill, which narrowly passed through the Lords on Tuesday, is now almost certain to become law. It's a bill about lobbyists, political campaigning regulation but it matters as much to the people I represent in Wigan as it does to the Westminster bubble because it tells a story of why so many people don't believe in politics.
The Bill would massively restrict the amount that campaigning charities and other UK community groups could spend in the year before an election whilst silencing us with unnecessary red tape. And if you're wondering why US-style funding systems don't yet exist in the UK, it's because they're already illegal.
If MPs are against the pay increase, they can stop it; after all, they set up IPSA in the first place. If they're not, and I suspect many of them actually tacitly support getting more money (and on a human level, wouldn't you?), they need to say so. And they need to justify it. Needing to do so could be the best stimulus for reform of how money is influencing politics at the moment.
The government's Lobbying Bill has come in for intensive criticism in recent weeks - and for good reason. We at Transparency International think it is an unusually poor piece of draft legislation, and ahead of the second reading last week prepared a briefing outlining how the Bill could be improved.