Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Tuesday Musings

With the current debate on expenses, one discussion point appears to have escaped the agenda and that is what happens to their candidates if political parties do not 'discipline' those MPs who have been found wanting in 'the court of public opinion'.

For example, a constituency association may well consider their MP 'blameless' and decide no re-selection process is necessary, ignoring the fact it is not they who will elect the next MP, but the voters en-masse.

In any constituency, regardless of who the sitting MP is, will there be a 'protest vote' for one of the other parties, thereby probably producing a 'surprise' result, or will there be mass abstentions yet again, also resulting possibly in a similar surprise result?

In any event it would seem that the party most likely to gain from either of the two scenarios above are the Liberal Democrats. Therefore, logically, all parties must now hold re-selection meetings, open to all voters, if a party wishes to ensure their party holds that particular seat in the Commons.

On a lighter note, questions have been raised about what MPs would do to earn an income were they to be voted out, on the basis most of them are 'unemployable'. Two suggestions in today's Telegraph letters page struck me as possible solutions.

The first suggested that all deposed MPs could form an orchestra/band as they all had plenty of brass and expertise as fiddlers. The second suggested that maybe, to avoid the expenses and allowances dilemma, MPs should be given five minutes, with a supermarket trolley, at the end of the production line of £50 notes at the Bank of England printing presses.

Yet a further comment on an unrelated matter, ID cards, came from a reader who posed the question for Jacqui Smith - who had championed one of the reasons for ID cards as preventing fraud - is how would ID cards have prevented MP's 'largesse'?

1 comment:

casper said...

I find Joan Smith's hypocrisy somewhat galling in her column in the Guardian today ("I am sick of my country and this hysteria over MPs"). It's OK for her to "monster" members of the Royal Family in her Guardian columns, and to target them "of a degree of vitrioli disproportionate to any offence they are deemed to have caused", but how dare others humiliate decent people like her MP husband and his ilk. To get some sense of Ms Smith's hypocrisy (and her stupidity), here she is on Princes William and Harry: "the character and behaviour of Princes William and Harry would render them almost comically unsuitable candidates for the role of head of state. They are disqualified by their snobbery, their sense of entitlement, and their spendthrift attitude to public money – not to mention the fact that they're not very bright". Here's another Joan Smith anti-Royal Family diatribe: "All the bronze statues in the world cannot conceal the fact that the nation's favourite granny was an unashamed bigot". As the saying goes, "people who live in chateaux, shouldn't throw tomateaux". I wish Ms Smith would practise what she preaches!