Tuesday, 28 April 2009

MPs are not the only ones to forget who they are

It was a comment on the radio the other day on Gordon Brown's risible and bizarre YouTube launch of his Parliamentary expenses proposals that caused me to pause in my tracks. Why was Brown making a proposal?

We've become so used to a confusion between 'Parliament' and 'Government' that I amongst many - including most Fleet Street journalists - didn't immediately seize on the peculiarity of a serving Prime Minister making a pronouncement on Parliamentary expenses as though it were a government matter.

The job of Parliament is to hold government to account. The Executive is separate from the Legislature. The Legislature is a sovereign body, and only the Commons can legislate for itself; it's beyond the reach of government, and rightly so. So when the head of government makes proposals relating to the Legislature's expenses, why? It's not his role. It's not within his power or gift. It's nothing to do with him. It's none of his business.

But the fact that this has gone virtually unremarked says much about how the ancient rights of Parliament have fallen into desuetude.

5 comments:

Blue Eyes said...

I am always banging on about this but nobody "gets" it. People cannot distinguish between government business and parliamentary difference, least of all Labour MPs.

Anonymous said...

Just another example of Harpic's contempt forParliament andmost other democratic institutions.

He believes that speaking to his people like some oriental potentate overrides all the niceties ofa parliamentary democracy, as if a word fromhim and allwill acclaim himas the true saviour and follow in his wake.

He is truly round the bend.

Allowing him to continue as PM is becoming a cruel abuse of both him and us.

He really must go.

William Gruff said...

' ... The Legislature is a sovereign body ... '

Until she signed the Treaty of Lisbon into 'U'K law Her Majesty was sovereign in the 'U'K. Parliament has never been sovereign here except, as I understand things, under The Commonwealth, which sovereignty Parliament gave up with the restoration of the monarchy.

wonderfulforhisage said...

"The job of Parliament is to hold government to account. The Executive is separate from the Legislature. The Legislature is a sovereign body, and only the Commons can legislate for itself; it's beyond the reach of government, and rightly so. So when the head of government makes proposals relating to the Legislature's expenses, why? It's not his role. It's not within his power or gift. It's nothing to do with him. It's none of his business."

And I'm wondering, where does the EU fit into all this?

Just a thought.

Anonymous said...

wonderfulforhisage: As Bill Gruff nearly said, the EU has superceded all this. It's history, a shell, a sham, a show. It has (you knew this was coming, didn't you?) slid down the curtains and joined the bleedin' choir invisible.