Monday, December 21, 2009

A disastrous year? Perhaps.

The Speaker for the House of Commons suggests it was a disastrous year for MP's, mostly to do with expenses, though I and others could suggest a few other things that they seem to believe we'll swallow without protest.

Telegraph.
MPs have seen a “cataclysmic” change for the worse in the wake of the expenses scandal, according to John Bercow, the Speaker of the House of Commons.
Mr Bercow said it had been a disastrous year for the reputation of politicians and they should not just wait for the “fuss to subside” before changing the system. The Speaker said he was keen to see reforms which would place MPs above reproach.
“I think the change for the worse over the past six months has been seismic, it has been cataclysmic,” he told the BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.
“It has been disastrous for the standing and the reputation of the House of Commons.
I do not, however, think that that damage is irreversible.
“If, however, we are to reverse it, it is not good enough simply to think the fuss will subside, the protest will die down, things will return to normal after a passage of time.
“If there is no payback from the House, there will be no comeback for the House.”
Mr Bercow said MPs needed to make “decisive, fundamental and irrevocable change”.
 Certainly from a sitting MP's position it was disastrous, all their little scams and schemes coming to light as the stone was upturned and they faced scrutiny in the light of day. Disastrous indeed for the MSM who probably knew just who the crooks were yet chose not to pursue the case until the files were offered out to all and sundry and may even have been ignored then if it weren't for the blogosphere harping on about it.
I don't think any of the current sitting MP's with a few notable exceptions are fit to represent the people, they're all damaged goods, they must have known of the deliberate manipulation of the expenses scheme and yet they sat on their hands and did nothing. Nor has the civil service come out of this intact, certainly the clerks administering the scheme allowed themselves to be bullied and cowed by the MP's and the current speakers predecessor.

Is this disastrous for the institution of Parliamentary democracy as passes in the UK? No, I don't think it is, though they certainly may have sounded a death knell for it. What needs to be done is not a tightening of the rules as such, but a reclamation of integrity by all politicians, a reclamation of the sovereignty lost to the EU, the reduction in power of the whips office to only those matters pertaining to manifesto promises, the repatriation of powers back to local authorities and a general removal of all laws that have been used to restrict peoples rights including those on tobacco and alcohol.
That would be a start, also you could restrict the activities of the Civil Service back to their rightful role and put matters of policy back to ministers, also you could repair the asymmetric devolution in this country by setting up an English parliament which would also add a layer of accountability to Westminster as well as reducing the number of UK MP's needed to run the country.

From my point of view it will only be a disaster if nothing comes from the whole expenses debacle, if it's business as usual once they think we're not watching then a disaster it will be.

 

3 annotations:

James Higham said...

2010 - you ain't seen nuttin yet.

tris said...

They made the UK a laughing stock all over the world. Everywhere they talk about the Duck House parliament. They laugh at noble Lords who cheat to get housing benefit, and MPs who expect the tax payer to stump up for cleaning their moats of having their forests husbanded. They have made us look like something out of a comic opera set in middle Europe with Margaret Rutherford as a Grand Duchess.

Personally I don't know a single person who thinks they are anything except a bunch of thieving self servers, and yet they by and large haven't managed to get it. My own MP hardly counts as a runner in the greed stakes, but he bought three cushions for his settee at a price that I might have paid for my settee, but when he was criticised for it by someone locally he was less than pleased.

If I didn't desperately want change I would say stuff it at the next election and ruin my paper. They are a bunch of..... argh.... can't think of a clean word! I’ve rarely felt such distaste for a bunch of people in my life. Give me working class benefit cheats any day. At least most of them do it so that they can live... not so that they can live like kings.

subrosa said...

Sorry QM, as soon as I read the word Bercow I had to stop reading. That man is such a total chancer. Mind you there are quite a few like that, but Bercow in particular has all the charm of a slimy snake.