Give Us Back Control

Mr Ex Speaker

Mr Ex Speaker

So it’s finally happened, Michael Martin has done the honourable thing and resigned – even if what led up to it wasn’t very honourable.

But surely the fact he had to resign should mean he loses all the benefits his office brought him…like his pension. It’s the same as with the bankers, you get to a certain level in society and it doesn’t matter how badly you do, you get a big payoff and the old boys see you right (I predict a directorship).

Gordon Brown has now spouted the usual crap about independent authorities setting MP’s pay and another dealing with expenses and allowances – we all know that just means an increased salary and having to find ways to exploit a new system.

He says that those who are found guilty (he won’t say ‘of crimes’) will face deselection or have the whip taken away from them but this whole affair has shown just how out of touch MP’s are. To your average person having the whip taken away doesn’t mean anything. It might be a punishment to their ‘honour’ but that’s about it.

And Cameron is just as bad. He managed to dodge a whole string of questions on Radio 4 today and finished by saying he couldn’t make himself any clearer…. David, mud is clearer.

We need Parliament brought into the 21st Century. I’ve got nothing against traditions but let’s do away with the fancy dress except for maybe the state opening. Let’s stop referring to ‘my honourable friend’ and jeering like schoolkids. We need grown-ups who can discuss serious issues without resorting to sneering and one-upmanship.

Knighthoods shouldn’t be given on a nod, they should be earned for going over and above, not just for doing what you are paid for.

We need straight talk or we can never trust Parliament, no matter what ‘reforms’ they bring in.

The bare fact is that MP’s of all parties have behaved shamefully. They have been found out. To serve us properly they have to abide by the same codes as us, no preferential treatment. If the honest ones had any backbone at all they would want the dishonest ones rooted out so they should be publicly calling for resignations.

I would see it as an ‘honourable’ gesture if one of them would point the finger at someone in their own party. I would have seen it as an ‘honourable’ thing to do to have signed the Motion yesterday but how many did?

So where do we go from here?

Well I suggest that any MP who has been found abusing the system should face a trial by jury of 25 people picked at random from their constituency. And I mean random, no politically correct adaptations – 25 people chosen by computer at random from the electoral role.

They will sit in public and question the MP direct, no highly paid briefs. At the end they will decide if the MP stays or goes. No MP would dare refuse and it would get us away from the “I haven’t broken any rules” opt out.

It’s not perfect, then justice rarely is but it might just give us the feeling that if we are back in control.

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