Saturday, 6 June 2009

Restoring faith in British democracy

With the revelations of MPs expenses, and the backlash meted out to the Labour government at the recent elections, the question now is - how can faith be restored in our democratic process?

Our MPs have shown themselves to be completely out of step with the common working man and woman of this country. They spent five years blocking reasonable and democratic attempts to get detailed information about their expenses (and now that they have been revealed, we know why). They have shown their contempt for the people who pay their wages. Look no further than Conservative MP Anthony Steen, who has stated that what he spends our money on is is none of our business, and that we are only jealous of him. Even more astonishingly, they tried to amend their own Freedom of Information law (the law that was being used to extract their expenses details) so that it did not apply to politicians. Their collective arrogance is truly staggering.

Labour's grubbing at the polls has hopefully sent the message that a government cannot afford to ignore it's constituents. In a democracy, the role of government is to serve its people. We vote them in, we can equally vote them back out. Governments are temporary, and we have the power to voice our displeasure by removing them from office.

For all MPs who have abused the expenses system, they should immediately face a by-election, where their constituency can vote them out if they wish to. The fact that so many MPs are hanging on until the next general election, so they receive their golden payoffs and fat pension pots must fill every person in this country with disgust. Giving us the power to vote out these pointless and greedy politicians would be a very welcome step in restoring our faith in democracy.

The expenses system should be completely over hauled. The fact that every single one of the claims that are now being revealed was authorised by the Fees Office shows how incompetent and self serving it is. The Fees Office should be under the control of an independent body, where the taxpayer is represented and can voice their concerns over its running. The second homes allowance should be abolished immediately. Many people commute to London daily, showing it is unnecessary to furnish our MPs with luxury homes in the capital. Most of the claims that have so horrified the general public have involved a second home, or a claim made against it.

The expenses system should only be used to claim the most basic of expenses, such as their staff salaries (who should not be related to the MP at all) and other expenses that are essential to the role of an MP.

Whatever happens, faith needs to be restored. It is currently at an all time low. We need MPs who understand the meaning of the words honour, diligence, industry and integrity. Currently, our House of Commons if full of shysters, liars and bullshitters.


  1. Restoring faith in British Democracy after we have been dishonoured and so misrepresented by this lot of frauding tax cheating socialy ignorant.........will take a miracle.
    Certainly my belief that we live within a democtratic country has been fading for a number of years, long before the recent scandal. I attended a Tony Benn talk night earlier in the year and when posed with the question if he still believed we lived in a democracy, his only reply was to refer to the democtratic process of people power to vote out and vote in. All well and true, I just hope someone comes along who I would want to vote in.
    Shysters, liars and bullshitters is very polite and kind, but one must keep ones dignity, and always keep the faith.

  2. Tony Benn is one of the few politicians I truly respect and admire. He stands for and represents what a politician should be about. He is head and shoulders above the current crop of self serving, pointless politicians.

    Voting out one of these politicians only gives us the chance to vote in an equally self serving and pointless replacement. There isn't really much to choose from.

    The sad fact is that Tony Benn represents a dying era of politics. He and his kind have been replaced by a new guard of politics, and as we have all seen, it puts the word democracy to shame.