Thursday, 5 June 2014

Recall - careful construction needed

MPs need more power to hold the government to account and need to enjoy greater independence from their parties. They also need to shed much of their role as appellate body for every trivial complaint from their constituents over access to rationed public services. Above all, MPs must be free to act in Parliament according to their own judgement - they are representatives, not delegates. For all of the foregoing, we must protect their rights, preserve their independence and defend their privileges. 

The power of recall should be available to their constituents and to no others in the event of a gross breach of trust or duty by a sitting MP. It should not be subject to approval by fellow MPs, nor conditional upon a criminal conviction nor on the imposition of a prison sentence. The democratic hurdle must be high enough to discourage frivolous or vexatious moves to recall.

This legislation will need careful construction and deep consideration. MPs must be free to act in accordance with their conscience in Parliament as long as they maintain those standards of conduct and probity required for anyone in public office. MPs aren't saints, and many will err and regret it. But for the expenses thieves, the bribe-takers, those assisting foreign powers against Britain's interest, the incorrigible and persistently morally iniquitous and for those grossly negligent in the exercise of duties as Members of Parliament there must be the sanction of dismissal.


Anonymous said...

I believe that there is a sanction of dismissal...

I may be wrong, but I thought that a sentence of more than one year, meant that any standing MP must resign.

Oddly, we don't see many MP's receiving more than a year.

Anonymous said...

All of that, then we need to move away from the party political system and wave goodbye to political parties, with the separation of the legislature from the executive, because, until, the executive is sundered from the legislature: there can be no democracy.

nonoftheabove said...

Agreed. The party system is corrupt and serves no democratic purpose.
I particularly liked the part 'those assisting foreign powers against Britain's interest'
That should put the cat firmly amongst the pidgeons.

Anonymous said...

You're going to get sweet Fanny Adams because chickens don't vote for Christmas (can I say Christamas these days?).

Our democracy is damaged beyond repair - or BER'd as we used to say in the forces. Just today we learn that the Labour Party has had meetings with the Liberal Democrats in preperation for next year's General Election. Moving the deck chairs, how cosy.

They've got to go, all of them.

Using the same two words signalling (to those in the know) the controlled demolition of WTC 7: "pull it".


Edward Spalton said...

It has never, as fgar as I know, been mentioned but I suspect that even convicted MPs retain their hugely generous pension rights. It would be a farm more effective (and cheaper) option to make them forfeit these than sending them to one of our open prison country clubs.