...a blog by Richard Flowers

Monday, May 18, 2009

Day 3059: So Now We've GOT the Political High Ground… what are we going to do with it?


Mr Clogg's direct call for the Speaker of the House of Commons to go has significantly changed the political landscape.


Last week, I was saying that people will only be satisfied with a SACRIFICIAL DEFENESTRATION. Sacking Mr Speaker of the Housemartin actually MIGHT DO THE JOB.

Or at least it will, so long as it happens quickly (no staying-on 'till the next election in a kind of Fred-the-Shred-esque pension arrangement) and so long as his replacement is someone VIGOROUSLY interested in REFORM.

I think there's only one obvious candidate, and that is our own Mr Stormin' Norman Baker.

He probably doesn't WANT the job, but TOUGH – the Speaker TRADITIONALLY has to be dragged to the chair anyway!

And giving the job to someone with an UNPARALLELED REPUTATION for probing into dark corners and badgering out the truth would be a sure and clear sign from Parliament that they WANT to put their own House in Order.

People used to say that Sir Mr The Merciless would be a good candidate, but I'm afraid he may have rather tossed the SCATTER CUSHION over that possibility. Even if he WASN'T looking like part of the problem for claiming ten grand's worth of interior design (no matter how defensible we might think that to be) one thing is true: Sir Mr the Merciless is very much the man of the ESTABLISHMENT. Which makes him the EXACT OPPOSITE of the sort of Speaker that we right now if Parliament is to stop looking like a gang of crooks.

What we want is someone who will be in a position to bash some heads together and implement WHOLESALE reform of our political system. Sorting out the MPs expenses scandal is merely swatting the mosquito – we need to be draining the whole rotten swamp.

Thanks to Mr Clogg's BOLDNESS, we may actually have a chance. Certainly Mr Balloon has boxed himself into a corner on this one – all his claims last week to be "leading" on the issue of reform will look HOLLOW and HYPOCRITICAL if his Conservatories now fail to act with us to get a new the Speaker.

Award-winning Auntie Alix has set out a seven-point plan for how we should USE our moment of advantage to really press home the REFORMS that are so desperately needed. This includes some rather painful self-examination as well. And quite right too. I hope that the FE will be FAIR but FIRM.

Mr Mark Reckons has done a very EXCELLENT piece of analysis that nonetheless produces the "no Sh-stuff Sherlock" response of: "the safer an MP's seat, the more likely he or she is to be on the FIDDLE."

Well paint me purple and call me stunned!

This is the VITAL EVIDENCE that we need to see in the headlines: the way we ELECT our MPs has got to change if we are to stop this kind of abuse.

A system of "recalls" won't be any use if there are "safe" seats: at best you'll just toss one time-server for another; at worst you'll just see them bounce straight back in. Meanwhile, you'll cause chaos in the marginals.

You need a system where people EVERYWHERE have power to choose not just between PARTIES but between party CANDIDATES – and that means multi-member seats and single transferable vote.

(Although GOODNESS it needs a better NAME – how about: the "Pick the Best" system instead of the "Pick One" system. Or the "People's Choice" system instead of the "Party's Choice" system that we've got.)

Sacking the Speaker would be a HUGE thing. It hasn't happened for three-hundred years! We need to draw a line under the expenses scandal, but we need to make it the STARTING LINE, not just the FINISH.

This needs to be the START of a REVOLUTION.

...and now, over to Daddy Alex with all the important questions that will help to FRAME the debate about what sort of Revolution we need!



Mark Thompson said...

Thanks for the link!

I think you are spot on that this means we really need to eliminate the safe seats. I have been in touch with a number of national press journalists today drawing their attention to this and "Make Votes Count" are also involved.

Hopefully we can get some wider coverage of this whilst the scandal is still such a hot topic.

Millennium Dome said...

You are more than welcome, Mr Mark!

More power to your fluffy elbow, says I!

Good luck with the press - getting them to pick up your point could be a turning point in British politics.