Posts Tagged ‘elites’

Only electoral reform can rescue democracy from MPs

19/01/2011, 04:34:02 PM

by Alex Hilton

The referendum debate is getting a little personal, with yes and no campaigners bickering and name calling. Which does Labour little good, because we’re the only party split on the issue. So I will write in the spirit of comradeship. No calling of names like “analogue” or “swivel eyed”. No abuse.

Except of MPs of course. They deserve everything they get.

Remember, that’s where this all came from, the expenses scandal. In the days of the Jenkins review, the electoral reform debate was entirely about fairness. And that didn’t get very far. But the expenses scandal highlighted the other really big problem of FPTP. That of accountability – and that’s an issue that isn’t going away.

MPs are desperately trying to forget the expenses scandal. They want you to believe – they want to believe themselves – that it was a few rotten apples who are now facing the courts or who have resigned in disgrace. But if the sum total of politicians who face trial reaches even twenty, that won’t include any of the MPs who stuck to the rules (that they made to suit themselves) in their over claiming – like the capital gains tax flippers. Nor any of those who weren’t greedy but who turned a blind eye to their colleagues’ behaviour. Which adds up to nearly all of those in Parliament at the time.

I do still have a lot of respect for some of those people, particularly those who achieved most and who represented people best. It’s just a lot less respect than it used to be. (more…)

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