Monday, 30 March 2009

That Eric Pickles savaging in full

I like Eric Pickles. He's one of the most competent members of Cameron's team, with a formidable intellect and grasp of policy. He's also the one man who can mastermind a big-bang devolution of government from Whitehall to Town Hall. Eric's Parliamentary expenses claims are relatively modest. His savaging at the hands of the Question Time audience was really more because he was there - he was a lighting rod - rather than because of any personal shortcomings. Almost.

I spent more than three years commuting into London. I had to get up at 4.30 a.m. to catch a 6.00 am train, then another 40 minute trip across London. It was often nine or ten at night before I got home. Eventually I moved here, and luxuriated in the benison of having time, just having time. I was a lot further away than Eric's 37 miles, and had to work five days a week and not three, and for 48 weeks a year and not 30. Every day at Liverpool Street station you can see tens of thousands of commuters spilling into London from further than 37 miles away. Eric's attempt to justify his second home on these grounds went down badly with the audience.

Eric got it in the neck because he represented a political class increasingly out of touch with ordinary voters. Little turds like Maclean. Bent MPs like Harry Cohen and Derek Conway. Naive and stupid MPs like Jacqui Smith and Harriet Harman. With the combined membership of the three main parties down to just 1% of the electorate and both State funding and MPs' increased pay and perks unacceptable to the country's voters in a recession, there's really only one way for the political class to go; a massive clean-up. Imposed from outside, as no-one trusts MPs to do it themselves. A Royal Commission.

5 comments:

John Page said...

Jacqui Smith is not naive. It was an expenses strategy.

Newmania said...

Its interesting that you link this to a general disaffacetion with Parliament and Parties .
I think we need open Primaries and a two stage election where the the last is knocked a kick in the backsdie for the boundary commission and a reduction of seats in underpopulated areas but also overall. A bonfire of layers and then ..pay MP`s well.

I do not think they are overpaid even with the perks

Anonymous said...

Newmania's idea of an open primary is an interesting one. We're never going to vanquish the political parties, which means we'll never have truly independent MPs. Primaries might be the next best thing.

Raedwald said...

Yes I agree - I like the idea of open primaries a lot. It would stop the parachuting in of apparatchiks such as The Hon. Georgia Gould, 22, into John Austin's seat, and start forcing the central parties to shortlist local candidates.

it's either banned or compulsory said...

Politicians, Bankers, Senior Civil Servants are all at the same troughligate game, who is left to staff such a Royal Commission ?