John Hemming's Web Log John's Reference Website
Sunday, May 17, 2009
  The Speaker Must Go
I link to an article in the Mail on Sunday. To me the biggest concern about The Speaker is that he has hobbled parliament in its role as the voice of the people.

He has basically acted as a trades union convenor for MPs trying to get the best deal for MPs, but undermining parliament as a result.

I sent an email to all MPs about a week ago challenging the authority of the speaker. Then I agreed to sign Douglas Carswell's no confidence motion.

Nick Clegg has now endorsed the calls for the speaker to go.

Pressure on Commons Speaker Michael Martin dramatically escalated today
when Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg joined public calls for him to
quit.

Mr Clegg abandoned Westminster convention that party leaders avoid
criticism of the office holder to demand the exit of "a dogged defender
of the ways things are".

"I do not think the Speaker should be made a scapegoat...for the
individual failings of many MPs, he told BBC1's Andrew Marr Show.

"But equally I do not think we can afford the luxury of a Speaker, who
is supposed to embody Westminster, who has been dragging his feet on
transparency and greater accountability in the way MPs receive their
expenses."

His intervention comes on the eve of the tabling of a motion of "no
confidence" in Mr Martin and reports he is set to announce he will step
down next year.



Key points:
Parliament needs a thorough clean out in order to make a fresh start
Parliament needs a Speaker prepared to lead reform
Speaker Martin should not be a scapegoat but he must go now, before the General Election so the process of reform can start
As a first step in addressing the expenses issue Parliament must accept the Kelly findings in full
But the expenses issue is just the tip of an iceberg. The whole system needs to change
If MPs are shown to have done wrong by the Committee for Standards, voters should have the right to sack sitting MPs and cause a by election
We must cut back the size and power of Whitehall
Give new freedoms including money-raising powers to local communities
Make voting fair
Have a written constitution prepared by a constitutional convention
This is why we need leadership from a reforming Speaker
 
Comments:
Well done. Some decent ideas there.
 
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