Sunday, May 17, 2009

It still wouldn't be enough.

Being a Parliamentary candidate changes the way I look at issues. Sometimes I ask myself what attitude I would take if I were an MP. More angles have to be considered before settling on a conclusion. For instance - what would I do if given a free vote on a motion of no confidence in the Speaker. This week, just such a motion may be put before MPs. Douglas Carswell's motion reads;

"That this House has no confidence in Mr Speaker, and calls on him to step down; notes that Mr Speaker has failed to provide leadership in matters relating to hon. members expenses; believes that a new Speaker urgently needs to be elected by secret ballot, free from manipulation by party whips, under Standing Order No 1B; and believes that a new Speaker should proceed to reform the House in such a way as to make it an effective legislature once more"

It wouldn't be an easy decision to take. On one hand, I have never been enthusiastic about the current Speaker, but I'm such a traditionalist that I do not like the idea of breaking the convention about criticising Mr Speaker. Certainly, I'd want to feel not inspired by partisanship. In the end, I believe my deep concern about the desperate need for a fundamental change in the way the House operates would guide me to back the Carswell motion. If it is put (which is another issue), I sense that it will seriously weaken the authority of Mr Speaker, even if the motion is defeated.

But I do not think removing Mr Speaker will mollify the public's anger about the way the allowances regime has been handled. It would take much, much, more than that. I believe that the British public will continue to look upon this Parliament as a flawed Parliament until there's a General Election. The people must have their say. Two weeks ago, I was beginning to believe that maybe the General Election was going to be delayed until May 2010. Now, I cannot believe that this Parliament can last beyond the autumn.


It's patently obvious said...

It's been several centuries since a Speaker of the House has been forced out.

I would beg to differ on just one issue, the term "hon" or honourable should no longer be associated with those that populate the House.

From now on MPs have to earn the trust and faith of the public.

They can begin by agreeing to do away with second home allowance in Toto.

alanindyfed said...

Facebook group "A Petition calling on HM the Queen to dissolve Parliament".
To see more details and confirm this group invitation, follow the link below:

Bonetired said...

I agree with you Glyn that unless the Speaker goes then there is no chance of the cleaning of the Augean Stables to start. The removal of the Speaker is a pre-requisite before any further reform of the House - which is so patently needed - can be started.

As for a General Election in the autumn .. I wish .. I wish .. but Brown will hang on as long as he can.

Glyn Davies said...

IPO - its beyond dispute that MPs have to earn trust and faith. I've always regarded a second home allowance as reasonable enough, but I can see that the level of abuse there has been may require its abolition. No logic to that though. The present system is fine, if all the abuses were removed - Constituency home always being the main home - no flipping - cut the figure to a rental equivilent - every claim published etc..

Alan - Thanks. I'll track it down.

Bonetired - I do not think that Gordon Brown will want an eleection - but in a democracy, the people often find a way of prevailing, if they feel strongly enough.

Vaughan Roderick said...

Glyn, the last Speaker to be ejected, John Trevor (from Denbighshire), was famed for his emnity towards the Earls of Powis and the Herbert family. The Marquess of Montgomery in particular suffered at his hands. If you're looking at historical precedents...

Anonymous said...

Dissolve parliament? I think we need a new Cromwell to do away with that bauble, and start afresh with a new referendum based legislature (a la Swiss model), with the four constituent realms of the UK represented in a senate. The Speaker will not be an MP, but the Queen's viceroy in Britain.

JB said...


I genuinely believe that this Parliament has to be dissolved and the whole question of Parliamentary probity (wider than just MPs' expenses and emoluments sorted out by a new lot.

The question of who should comprise the new membership is best left to the constituency electorate who are aware of all the local innuendo not available to the Parliamentary or party scrutineers.

If Gb won't do this then the Queen should step in. It is vital that any new house must start untainted by this outrage.


The Game Is UP said...

Glyn> MPs have cooked their own goose, their own flesh and blood. The unseeingly expense-rush and the sheer lunacy of the excuses that have been thrown down as a "rear-guard action" beggeth belief.

By failing to stop the gravy train MPs and their leaders have made themselves vermin in their own land.

Knowing now the extent of the corruption and scale of personal enrichment - any MP who tries to protect the second home allowance is not just out of touch, they are out to lunch, dinner and tea.

It is done.

The golden goose of free-fall expenses is cooked.

No more second home allowance or Parliament deserves to fall into the pit.

What makes it all the more despicable is that the Speaker was aware of what was going, and apparently the leaders of each party knew or should have known.

Lest they forget the nation they serve, they should give up the second home allowance.

Or what's left our sweet dear democracy will be done.

Once the public lose all respect in Parliament, there will be wholesale break down in the nation's spirit.

Our great nation will become a corrupt banana republic.

Those nations that used to look up at us will look down on us.

And some leaderships of the kind we despise will look sideways at us and laugh and sneer so hard at us.

We will be like grapes under the feet of men we despise.

So goeth Parliament, so goeth the nation.

There will be rule and law breaking, a disrespect of the laws of the land and if anyone thinks the UK economy is in a spot of bother, once main street Britain loses respect in the rule of law the cornerstone of the economy will be torn from its place.

There will be no end to the despair and anguish in this once great land.

Tomos Dafydd said...

Michael Martin is out of touch. It's time for him to go!

alanindyfed said...

"It still wouldn't be enough."
The final solution to the woes of the UK constitution is to abolish it completely and set up sovereign governments and parliamentary democracies within the EU in the nations of the British Isles. This is a period of immense political and economic change and the present debacle is a symptom of this change and an inevitable outcome of change. It is a time of renewal and hope for the nations of the British Isles with the discarding of outworn practices and conventions and the establishment of self-governing entities within the wider European context. It restores power to the people, who feel powerless to voice their concerns through debate (except on Question Time) and a referendum based legislature but who only have recourse to the ballot box every 5 years. This unwritten and fundamentally flawed constitution is not in need of reform but of being scrapped and replaced by national democracies with their own laws and institutions, independent and inter-dependent. I predict that this arrangement will one day be reflected throughout the European Union.

Glyn Davies said...

Vaughan - I'm depending on the truth of this.How on earth do know these things.

Roman - Bit radical for me.

JB - Personally, I think its too constitutionally risky for Her Majesty to become involved. I think the electors may force a change of heart on this on June 4th. We must have a General Election before Parliament can regain its authority.

JB said...


Remember I took 11/2 on a June election some time ago. I'm lobbying Her Majesty!