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January 21, 2009


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Huw O'Sullivan

But Graham, these bad MPs are still the choice of the electorate in those areas.
They are the only ones to blame, the ones who vote and the ones who choose not to.
One's right to vote is important, but far too many do not understand that the it is also a responsibility.

Graham Marlowe

Yes but the point is, Huw, that if you live in certain areas, it doesn't matter how crass or even downright dodgy your MP is, if you live in an area where people always elect a Tory or Labour MP no matter what, you are going to get bad MPs. You can't blame "the public", for example, the honest ones who always got Hamilton, who I have cited elsewhere, because that area, until Mr Bell came along always voted for a Tory. there are Labour areas too. Not far from where I live there is an appalling "Labour" MP who is more of a Tory but she has been lucky enough to find a "traditional" Labour seat. Frankly if I lived in brent there is no way I would vote for Dawn Butler after her disgraceful piece of self-advertising which she got the American President to endorse, but i daresay she will win next time, because it is a "Labour" safe seat. For now.

Huw O'Sullivan

MPs are to blame for so many in the electorate not voting?
The electorate choose the MPs we have.
There are a great many things we can blame MPs for, the decisions individual members of the public make for themselves is not one of them.


I agree with you Patrick my point is that our MP's are now less the ones who feel that the world needs changing for the better but just see it as another career like being a solicitor or estate agent.They are attracted by the power influence and money The MP's that once had fire in their belly from living within the inequality in their communities and their fellow man and had experienced some of what life has to offer are less and less. For many it is just a job like any other. Also many who may have this idealism succumb to the security of the job and become just another automiaton of the party machine devoid of any individual thinking. If they retain any integrity and intelligence you usually find them on the back bench well out of harms way.

It is scandalous that so few of us vote but MP's are largely to blame for this. Lets hope things get so bad that more of us will start to vote.

I think proprotional representation would be huge step forward so that all votes count


Parliament simply reflects society.People have apathetically whinged about their representatives since the beginning of democracy.
The majority of British people would sooner vote on Big Brother than vote at an election. That says -
A - They are more interested in some pointless TV trivia than in decisions that affect their lives.
B - They couldn't give a monkeys who represents them.
C - Things really can't be that bad if it's too much trouble to bother.

People that don't even bother to vote spend the next Five years whinging about their MP.If things are really that bad they would have voted anyway but even more important if things are really that bad stop whining, join your local party,and fight to change things.


I agree with you Graham. Recently on a 5 live programme at the Labour and Tory confernaces all these young and intelligent kids not one over 18 where asked their opinions. Idealistic and refreshing but unfortunately totally unworkable where their views. Many when asked what they wanted to be said they wanted to be MP's, THis is why we are in the mess we are in our MP's are carrer Mp's no experience of the real world no experience of the business world or living on unemployment benefit or in a working class community how can they ever make policies that benefit the many

Graham Marlowe

"They were a delight. All in the twenties, blazingly intelligent and idealistic. "

Not always a good thing though, is it, Paul?. It is always easier to be idealistic when you are jejune and have never had to endure the worries that come later in life. perhaps that is why one of your colleagues wants the voting age reduced to 16?. easier to hoodwink?

I mean no disrespect to your Canadians, but i daresay Hitlers sycophants in 1933 were "blazingly intelligent and idealistic"

I would sooner go for age and experience: some of the younger MPs (all parties) are not exactly a good advertisement, notwithstanding their intelligence and idealism


We always get risk wrong (see for example the chapter in Schneier's latest book on security), but with road safety we make a real pigs ear of it. More traffic police would be an excellent start, as would ensuring camera vans target dangerous roads rather than fast roads. Obviously this won't happen as it would be expensive and spoil the conviction statistics! I find it amazing that some ministers think 90 on a motorway is a severe speeding offence, whereas 35 in a 30 is far more trivial when in most cases the reverse is true. At the same time, the static cameras I viewed as a public service (e.g. at the entrance to Cwmbran stadium) appear to be being removed!
I can only assume they're being moved from safety important locations to more profitable ones.

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