Monday, 8 February 2010

The cosy consensus needs breaking

I was disgusted to see the three Labour MPs (one of whom is my in-laws MP!) trying to claim Parliamentary Privilege, the age old principle that most of us thought was there to enable MPs to have full freedom of speech in the chamber, to stop them being taken to court against charges of fiddling their expenses.

This Labour government (and indeed the Tory opposition) has been late in the day to realise the need to reform expenses. MPs like the Lib Dem Norman Baker and Labour MP Kate Hoey were in the minority taking the house of commons to task.

Nick Clegg launched his "Take Back Power" agenda before the new year, which went much further than other parties in calling on parliament to use this opportunity to totally reform the rotten situation in parliament.

It calls for:
1. Commitment to accept Kelly expenses reform in full
2. Recall power for MPs suspended for misconduct
3. House of Lords reform
4. Party funding reform
5. Fixed term Parliaments
6. Enabling legislation for a referendum on proportional representation
7. Changes to House of Commons procedure to reduce executive power

It's still not too late but I suspect this will only happen when more Lib Dems are elected to Parliament.

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