The Speaker should go

The Speaker should go. This is the man who moved to block freedom of information on MPs expenses. This is the man who is meant to hold the respect of Parliament and parliamentarians. This is the man whose first instinct last week was to shoot the messengers rather than address the crisis breaking all around us.

There is to be a vote of confidence next week – but I hope for his as well as our sake – that he goes of his own volition before then.

That doesn’t deal with the MPs who have defrauded the system or evaded tax – who must face investigation under the law. They should be sacked. Those who have had to ‘pay back’ depending on the scale of the offence either should be deselected/resign or face their electorate in due course and give them the ultimate say on their future. And those MPs who haven’t done anything wrong should have equal space in the Telegraph saying so.

I texted Nick Clegg a few days ago to suggest he call for the dissolution of Parliament as I cannot see how we can continue given that we, the members of the House of Commons, have collectively no credibility or respect or trust. Listening to a pundit on the news just now, though, he said we need three months to do this in orderly fashion – to deselect those MPs who have abused the system and to not go to the polls at a moment when in anger – the baby would be thrown out with the bathwater. I assume he meant that the anger and the fury of the people voting at this moment would turn it into an election exclusively about an expression of that anger – and that elections should be about the economy etc. I am not sure I agree – as everything feels contaminated at the moment.

0 thoughts on “The Speaker should go

  1. I agree with the pundit – don’t have an election now, but fairly soon. I listened to BBC QT this week and the sense of anger was palpable. If we go to the polls in an atmosphere of such emotional rage, who knows what will happen – but it certainly won’t be good for the country. A period of reflection and evaluation is needed.

  2. A million hear hears, and a thousand yeses to an immediate general election. The people own this country-not politicians! Bugger the ‘baby’!

  3. Sadly, I think that there are still a lot of influential people who think that they collectively own the country, that the power of the monarch has in effect been transferred to a diffuse group of elders. We are now, of course, citizens, not subjects, but the reality of that has not yet worked through. The power of the Information Society is helping us know more and think more about it – and the feeling is that MPs as they appear in the Commons are not truly representing us in this two dominant plus one fragment party setup.

  4. Lynne, I expect you’ll still be standing when the dust settles on this. In due course, I think you should see to it that Heather Brooke gets a medal. Remember, she’s the American-trained journalist who used American expectations of political transparency to investigate MPs expenses. The Daily Telegraph would never have done this work themselves, on their own initiative. All they did was write the biggest cheque for the information (see current Private Eye, on Sun editor Rebekkah Wade’s fury that the Sun couldn’t offer enough). It’s worth noting that corrupt techniques were used to uncover corruption! You may say what you like about American politics, domestic and foreign, but at the ordinary level of local politics, there is a level of democracy and openness much higher than here. I’d like to hear what you have to say on these issues: how can we have more democracy and openness here?

  5. Edward – yes – when the dust settles I think we will recognise that Heather Brooke has done this country a service. That old boys network / club has been hard to break through. Look what it has taken to really batter and make fall the bastions of secrecy and exclusiveness. I was on the Sky paper review last Sunday and of course expenses were the only story in town. Asked my opinion I said I was ashamed of those MPs who had cheated the system and that whatever ones circumstances you should still be able to tell right from wrong etc. A number of MPs (a small number) expressed anger and /or surprise to me that I had said such things which might put other MPs in a difficult position. That shows the sort of club mentality – that we should somehow stick together rather than expose the truth. I don’t have a stock answer as to how we can have a better democracy and more openess. I do think the Americans, who have so many things wrong, are much better than us on these issues. And I do think that this is an opportunity for change and reform. Maybe the silver lining is that the old guard and the greedy will pass into history – and the new age will be about openess, fairness and serving the people who put us there in the first place.

  6. What Lynne has failed to highlight is that it is of course one of Lynne’s favourite Labour MPs, Harriet Harman, who tried the hardest to cover up MPs expenses and stop all this information getting out.Disappointing that the media hasn’t highlighted those such as Harman who put so much effort into blocking the release of this crucially importnat information.

  7. Key phrase: "This is an opportunity for change & reform." That's what I want to hear about in the coming months.2. With public sentiment turning leftward — fury at greedy bankers followed by fury at greedy MPs — how can the political beneficiaries be the Conservative Party?

  8. There is a whole 2nd aspect of this not yet examined.A corrupt parliament has foisted endless bureaucratic bullies and snoopers on the public, from traffic wardens through “Civilian Enforcement Officers” right up to hundreds of authorities who are allowed to snoop on US through RIPA and similar Acts.We can now clearly see why they thought us the people “need watching”, but is there any chance of this whole enforcement edifice being dismantled now that the truely bent turn out to be the law-MAKERS rather than us ?Somehow I doubt it.Alan Douglas

  9. “the new age will be about openess, fairness and serving the people who put us there in the first place”Not unless we try a lot harder. There are indeed people in the public sector who are looking for a way forward, and some of the “old guard” are beginning to show that they don’t understand this internet-enabled age – the Information Society. But we need to pump a great deal more competence into the discussions – that means funding, because a lot of people who I know are fed up with being asked to work for nothing on these topics, particularly when the results are trashed by a mix of people who are threatened by it and people who just don’t know how to handle the results.