Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Swinegate and Consitutional Reform

I've just seen some patronising rubbish in the Spectator about concern over MP's expenses being overkill and somehow bad for the British democratic process.

Swinegate is just the straw that broke the camel's back. At different times, on different issues that each of us cares about, we have all felt that politicians are up to no good in their various machinations. Now we've all caught them, red-handed, pulling the same stunt at the same time. It does not matter that we have merely caught a crowd of them failing to do something as basic as filling out an expense form with diligence and propriety. The panic-stricken response right across the political spectrum is clear evidence that the politicians now know that we know just how opaque and unaccountable Parliament is generally.

The great news is that this has alerted a wider community of people to consider what goes on in Westminster. But these are still early days in this process of awakening. So it's way too early to constrain debate by saying that constitutional reform is not the answer, for example. Let's get the whole sorry parliamentary institution laid out on the table and then figure out how to reform it.

More light, please! We have work to do...
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