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Cheers - AE

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Good news and bad news.

The good:
Gordon Brown said that Westminster would no longer operate like a gentlemen’s club, making its own rules, and said that the moves would change centuries of history for Parliament.
The bad:
The Prime Minister announced that the financial affairs of MPs would be taken over by independent regulators.
Whoopee fucking doo, another regulator. Because government in general and Gordon Clown in particular have got such a great track record in setting up successful and effective regulatory bodies, right? Er.....

The way I see it this is at best, and I emphasize 'at best', a sideways move for oversight of Parliamentary expenses. At worst it'll be a body as toothless as the Fees Office it replaces and stuffed to the gunwales with cronies and placemen who'll sanction the same kind of dodgy claims that we've been hearing of lately, and who'll no doubt expect a quid pro quo, or perhaps just a lot of quid, for giving it the nod. Either way the bastards still won't be accountable to their real employers except that one day every four or five years when there's an election, and even then there's the problem of wankers in safe seats being able to do pretty much what the fuck they like. If they really wanted to bring true accountability to Parliament and MPs they could just insist on completely transparent accounts, i.e. the full details of each and every expense claim submitted, approved or not, should be published immediately, and a US style recall procedure brought in so that if enough constituents feel their MP is taking the piss they can force a by-election. In addition to financial accountability recalls would also provide professional accountability - if an MP is some worthless party appointee who knows fuck all about the area and people they're supposedly representing but can be relied on to troop into the right lobby when the Whips whistle, or is a useless workshy twat who never bothers to vote at all unless they happened to be in Westminster for a shag anyway, then there'd be a potential means to get rid of them if the constituents weren't happy with that sort of performance. Somehow I doubt that many serving MPs would go for that, though since the government keep telling us that we've nothing to fear from all their authoritarian laws if we've nothing to hide you have to wonder what they have to hide if they are afraid of being genuinely accountable. Open primaries would be a great help too since a safe seat for a particular party wouldn't necessarily be a safe seat for an individual candidate for that party.

UPDATE: I suppose the other bit of good news is obviously that the feckless twat in the Speaker's chair is on the way out, but far from being replaced by a modernizer who'll lead the way in reforming this system that's been corrupting all these innocent MPs it seems the new Speaker will just be following a plan laid out in advance by vested interests who've already proven themselves untrustworthy. Did I already say whoopee fucking doo?

UPDATE 2: Another thought has just occurred to me. This abolition of the Fees Office and creation of an independent regulator wouldn't be carried out in a similar way to the abolition of MAFF and the creation of DEFRA would it?

UPDATE 3: Oh for fuck's sake.
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