Skip to main content

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

Praguetory said…
Well done. Some decent ideas there.

Popular posts from this blog

Homelessness vs Selling Books

Candidates in elections tend to find themselves very busy with lots of things to do.  It is, therefore, necessary to prioritise things to ensure that the important things are dealt with.

To me the issue of homelessness and rough sleeping is an important issue.  Therefore, when Birmingham's Faith Leaders group contacted me to ask me what I would propose and whether I would work with them to make things better I was pleased to respond with my views and indicate that I would work with them after the election.

The Faith Leaders Group (Bishops and other religious leaders in Birmingham) have now sent out their report.

Sadly, according to their report,  I was the only candidate for Yardley to respond.  The group in their report said:

"Particularly disappointing was the lack of response from some of those candidates seeking re-election as MP for their respective constituencies."
It is worth looking at the priorities of my opponent.
Interestingly today she has decided to be at th…

Millionaires and politics

The Labour Party spent most of the last election criticising me for being a successful businessman (aka millionaire). That is business in the private sector employing over 250 people. It is worth looking at the situation for the Labour Candidate now:

For the year 2016-7 Annual Income from Parliament74,962Specifically for her book51,250Other media income etc5,322.82Total declared income131,534.82

Traditionally anyone with an annual income of over £100,000 has been considered to be a millionaire. I did not use my position in parliament to increase my income.


I have been asked for sources for this. This BBC piece looks at how one should define rich. It was written in 2011 so the figures will be slightly out of date. There are perhaps 2 relevant pieces:
"In 1880 a rich person would have had £100,000 in assets or an income of £10,000 a year, he says. About a hundred people a year died leaving £100,000 and by 1910 this was 250 - "a microscopic fraction of the number of death…

The Labour Candidate's Book Promotion Tour and Why It Matters

In the 2015 General Election the Labour Candidate criticised John Hemming for having an external interest and made a pledge that she would be a "Full Time MP for Yardley and my only other job will be mom & carer ...".  Here is a copy of that pledge:


Since that point she has been working on paid Television Programmes and has also written a book. John Hemming has made no secret of the fact that he chairs the board of the company he founded in 1983. This involves one meeting a month. When he was the MP for Yardley he was a full time MP and the Job of being MP for Yardley came first. The Labour candidate has reported 1,274 hours of work other than being an MP in the two years she has been elected and her income in the last year was over £131,000.

Ignoring the question as to how she reconciles that with her "pledge" the question is raised as to what extent her external activity conflicts with the role of Member of Parliament for Yardley. She is supposed to de…