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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Bringing politics into disrepute

Like many other people I have been horrified by the revelations in the Channel Four's Dispatches programme last night. The idea of politicians being for hire is repugnant but it got worse when Newsnight later revealed that many MPs of all parties had also failed to follow the rules on declaring overseas trips.

How difficult can following the rules be? It seems to me that a culture has grown up in the House of Commons of MPs thinking that they are not accountable for their actions. The fact that many of them have second jobs or enjoy extensive overseas 'fact-finding' trips has gone to their head. They are there to do a full-time job for their constituents not earn thousands of pounds extra in the City or as overpaid consultants.

As a politician myself I am horrified that my reputation is being tainted by this unacceptable behaviour. People make mistakes, things are overlooked but this comes across as systematic abuse. No matter how correctly any Councillor, MP, AM, MSP, GLAM or MLA has behaved in the public's eye we cannot escape the taint of misbehaviour that these politicians are trailing through publc life.

Personally, I am sick of it. It is time that Westminster sorted itself out once and for all. The behaviour of a minority of MPs and Lords is undermining our democratic process and destroying all trust in the poltical process. Public service used to be a privilege. It is not any more. This will not now take an election to undo but a generation.
I don't think I want the country governed by a political party anymore - and certainly never ever for a decade or more.

Bring back parliamentary rule! Farewell to kings!
Channel 4 not BBC
Cheers, now corrected.
While we still have a winner-takes-all voting system, we will continue to suffer monolithic political parties and elected kings (and queens - let's not forget Mrs T).
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