Categorised | Conservatives, General, Labour, Lib Dems |

One in 10 MP’s to stand down at next election. Its not enough!

The latest news is that some 10% of MP’s are intending to stand down at the next election, if accurate, then we only have another 590 or so to go. It is clear, that many of our current batch of MP’s have failed to listen to the public, to the extent that, in my view at least, we have never had a period in our history where the people of this country have felt so disengaged from the politicians elected to represent us.

For the past 12 years, as a people, we have had to standby as our right to privacy, civil liberties and freedoms have been steadily eroded. Yes, this is the fault of the government, but it is also the responsibility of the opposition MP’s who have failed to wade in on our behalf. Our country is more like a police state than ever before, New labour has introduced during their time in office, some 3607 new laws. The police have been provided with massive powers to stop and search, arrest and detain. They have been provided with their very own ‘weapons’, including a steel truncheon, pepper spray and now all front line police officers are to be provided with lethal Tasers, some 10,000 of them. We no longer feel like a free country, instead we are ruled, monitored and controlled. Our police officers don’t care or don’t know the difference between a protest or a riot. Our action, words and thoughts are constantly monitored and recorded on a raft of databases, even our children have their every action recorded on a database, information from which, will be used to determine whether or not they are likely to turn into criminals (see: Onset Profiling Tool).

Much has been said about MP’s self-interest. They have benefited for decades from an expense and allowance system that actively encourages abuse. Yes, their actions may well be “within the rules“, but the rules were quite clearly wrong, yet no-one did anything about it, only now, when the Freedom of Information Act meant that the public could review their expenses have they started to consider revisions. Gordon Brown as Chancellor decided that he was going to raid the private sector pension plans, this action has raised approximately £10bn per annum, money that has been squandered, not invested. Meanwhile, they have done nothing about public sector pension plans which will, if not dealt with quickly, bankrupt this country, because they are paid out of tax revenues, not a pension fund. Our MP’s failed to consider the irony of the fact that whilst they were punishing those that had diligently invested in a private pension, members of parliament had one of the best pension schemes in the country. Now, there is a private members bill going though parliament that seeks to protect all public servants, MP’s included, from any wrongdoing if they can claim ‘reasonable discretion’. How can they claim to be representative or not full of self-interest?

No matter what political party you support, even the most foolhardy could not claim that our current government has any real direction, their rallying call is always “we will do whatever is necessary“, that does not provide much confidence, given it suggests that they are not in control, are lacking direction and any fresh ideas. Above and worst of all, it implies that they are reactive, not proactive. Whenever Gordon Brown or his cronies have to defend their actions, or lack of them, they always turn to party politics, by claiming that “at least we are doing something, the Conservatives would do nothing” or “we are investing, whilst the Conservatives would cut“. Haven’t they worked it out yet, the people of this country are simply sick and tired of this bullshit. Gordon Brown and his cabinet need to be reminded that the Conservatives are not in power, they are! In fact it is 12 years since the Conservatives were in power, New Labour can’t continue to blame the Conservatives for everything. All MP’s need their heads banging together. The opposition parties have not offered much opposition to this New Labour government, in fact, many MP’s have been complicit in the mess that we are in by failing to say something. Apart from PMQ’s and one or two ‘major’ debates, there is rarely more than a handful of MP’s in parliament to debate our future or protect our interests from what has become a over-bearing, increasingly authorotarian government.

More than anything, I would like to see a massive clear out of MP’s, not all, but most. Clearly we need to retain some experience, but equally, we need to elect people that will genuinely represent our interests instead of their own. During the debate over MP’s expenses, I heard some of the most impassioned speeches ever, it is quite telling that it had to take something like their expenses to illcit this type of response! It also brought out some of the worst aspects of the self-indulgent character of our MP’s, with some whining about how poor their wages were, or suggesting it was a vocation not a job, implying they are doing us all a favour. The bottom line is, they knew what the pay was before they entered parliament, if the money wasn’t good enough, they should have done something else. What they need to remember is that parliament is not a true meritocracy, MP’s get to keep their jobs irrespective of their abilities, at least for 5 years anyway. In addition, very few are promoted on merit, because in parliament, promotion is normally offered as a reward.

That notwithstanding, if there are any MP’s that are not happy with the wages, prospects or allowances, then I feel certain there will be thousands of people who would be delighted to work for £65k per annum, and above all, for the privilege of being able to represent their constituents. I would like to see the political parties open their doors to ordinary people. By limiting their scope to mates, old Etonians, union leaders and the like, so they limit the spectrum, depth and ingenuity of our parliament. For me, unless we witness a substantial change to our representation, a return to democracy, renewed respect for the people of this country and an end to cronyism, then I think it is time to consider emigrating.

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7 Comments For This Post

  1. CJ Says:

    9 out of ten would be a better figure:)

  2. Frustrated Voter Says:

    @ CJ: I was thinking along the same lines, unless it is a substantial clear out, then nothing will change. There needs to be a cultural change, not a superficial one.

  3. Sandman Says:

    There is little doubt that politics in this country is in the mirem there really does need to be a change of culture and the sooner the better. I would like to see a more open system for people to become a parliamentary representative.

  4. CD Says:

    How would you actually get the parties to change their rules as regards entry? Unless it is done from within, by their own choosing, I imagine it just wouldnt happen. It would need a strong change of attitude, almost spiritual really, to make it so. I can say that I have the views of several young people, at university level, who believe that the current party-system is pointless; because all one does is vote for party A for a few years, then party B, and then back to party A again when the country is fed up with that. Party C probably doesnt get a look-in, and there are very few, if any, strong parties beyond “C”.

  5. Frustrated Voter Says:

    @ CD: I suspect the real problem is the ‘first past the post system’, as distinct from the more common than proportional representation that is commonplace elsewhere in Europe. Because the truth is, governments can get in with a massive majority and less than 35% of the popular vote, as per the last election. I have never really been a supporter of proportional representation (PR) because of the risk of a ‘hung’ parliament; however, having seen what happens when governments are given massive majorities, I am warming quickly to the idea of PR. This would almost certainly avoid a situation where we only get a choice of the two major parties. It also means that there could be more independents, or real people standing for parliament based on local issues, which should make parliament more representative. Whatever the answers and to be honest I don’t have them, something needs to be done because it feels less like a democracy and more like an authoratarion police state.

  6. Pursebearer Says:

    I suggest we go back to the situation before 1911, when MPs were unpaid. All laws they’ve past since then should be repealed. Then we should start afresh with a complete new set of MPs, willing to work for a basic salary, like everyone else.

  7. Frustrated Voter Says:

    @ Pursebearer: The only problem with the idea of no salary is that we could end up with parliament becoming elitist. That said, some would argue that it is in any event, with many MPs’ quickly forgetting their roots. There is certainly a great deal of logic in repealing much of the unwanted and unwarranted laws that have been introduced, for the most part, to keep the commoners down, rather than protect them.

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