Thursday, 22 January 2009

What Do Words Mean When Spoken By A Politician?

The reason I pose this question is a statement from David Cameron, quoted in the on the subject of MPs possible exemption from the Freedom of Information Act.

"This is about the simple principle that MPs are given taxpayers' money to help them represent voters. Taxpayers struggling to get by in this recession surely have a right to know how their money is going to be spent."

Both points in this statement are true but this is not just about how MPs spend our money on second homes, allowances and expenses and it is neither here nor there whether we are in a recession; his salary, allowances and expenses are paid out of our money and we have the right to know whether we are, in fact, getting value for that money, whatever the subject.

The equally important fact is that MPs are supposed to represent their electorate. This means that, as MPs, their voting record should reflect the views of their electorate, but to do that MPs would have to talk to their electorate, something which unfortunately does not seem happen. 

Representation means carrying out voters wishes and how many MPs actually do that instead of 'toeing the party line'? As an example, David Cameron has twice been asked to publicly debate with his constituents the matter of this country's membership of the European Union, declining on each occasion on the basis his views on this subject are well known. When David Cameron has hardly said one word, of any substance, on Europe how on earth can he claim his views are 'well known'?

David Cameron, on the question of 'Europe', is shortly to find that - to coin a phrase - the excrement is about to hit the ceiling mounted air circulation device!

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