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Thursday, September 15, 2011

MPs fall further in public esteem

A new report by the Committee on Standards in Public Life has found that there has been a steep decline in public confidence in MPs between 2008 and 2010.

The BBC say that the percentage of people in England who think MPs are dedicated to working well for the public dropped from 46% to 26%:

The survey of 1,900 people was carried out in the new year, 19 months after the MPs' expenses scandal broke.

Although the watchdog's fourth survey shows a "long-term decline in public confidence in those holding public office" since 2004, the report says that on many issues, the decline since 2008 has been even "steeper".

It suggests there has been no "bounce" in confidence since the new government came to power - or if there was one it was short lived and died out before the survey was conducted, between 29 December 2010 and 4 January 2011.

"Public satisfaction with the conduct of MPs has declined on every measure except taking bribes since the last survey was conducted," the report said.

Other findings included a drop in the number of people who believe MPs are competent, from 36% in 2008 to 26% in 2010, a reduction in the number of people who think MPs set a good example in their private lives from 36% to 22%, and a fall in those who think MPs tell the truth from 26% to 20%.

Fewer people also think MPs make sure public money is spent wisely.

The public attitudes survey lists 10 qualities considered important in an MP - including being dedicated to doing a good job for the public, not using power for personal gain, telling the truth and owning up when they make mistakes.

But only on "not taking bribes" did a majority of people - 67% - believe that all or most MPs exhibited that quality.

On each of the other nine, fewer than 40% of people interviewed in England believed most MPs had those attributes.

Despite this MPs are still better trusted to tell the truth than tabloid journalists!
Wonder what the equivalent figure would have been for AMs? Probably lower, and probably deservedly so, the Assembly has done little in tructh beyond propel the AMs into the top 1% of earners in Wales.

One stark thought: Scotland, 4 months after the SNP triumph sees unemployment fall by 3,000. Wales, with its same old same old, and half of scotland's populatio, sees its unemployment go up by 30,000.

Time to make it 30,060?
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