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April 24, 2009


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Paul Flynn

Here! Here! Patrick


I agree 100% with that Huw.
Some of the HOC rules are archaic and need to be modernised. I have long believed that the above was true and that responsibility lies with us all , the electorate. As per usual the ones screaming the loudest are the ones that have little interest in politics , blame politicians for everything, "don't vote because they are all the same" classic!
If things really are that bad then it's the collective responsibility of us all ,as we are all electable, to stop whimpering and make a contribution yourself !

Huw O'Sullivan

The fools baying hatred at all mp's as if at a separate species are simply typical of people today who take no responsibility for themselves and seek to lay blame anywhere and everywhere. If the politicians we elect are so awful, why do we keep electing them.

This is a democracy, each constituency elects one person out of many contenders to represent them. The end result is that we get the government we choose and as per that quote often attributed to de Tocqueville the government we deserve.

Can government be improved, yes of course.
Can politicians be required to meets standards of truthfulness and rectitude, yes of course.
The people who can enforce these things are the electorate, for what we have at the moment, we as the electorate have only one group to blame, ourselves.

Kay Tie

"What happens when if a Select committee reject a Department's budget?"

I guess it has to be reworked. The Government has a majority on the committees, so it's not going to stop the executive dead in its tracks. But, as with various appointments in the US, it puts a lot of public scrutiny there.

"I'd like to see a fully worked out proposal"

Indeed. May I suggest that the various good MPs - of all parties - get together, outside party structures, and do some blue sky thinking on reform? And do it soon?

Paul Flynn

KayTie, I am a great enthusiast for extending the role of Select Committees. This seems to be a very superficial proposals. What happens when if a Select committee reject a Department's budget? I'd like to see a fully worked out proposal rather than a pious idea.

Paul Flynn

The twelve week 'holiday' is a myth for the great majority of MPs. My office is open, and I am available on almost every working day of the year. Last year I had a holiday of just over a week in August. During the Easter Recess, I visited a Newport firm on every working day. The strange idea is that we 'work' only when Parliament is in session. This is nonsense and based on a mis-understanding of the job

But the media are on an anti-MP crusade and truth does not get a look-in in the a torrent of half-truths and lies.

Paul Flynn

KayTie is right in that the American backbenchers have greater say over the executive than we have. This is nothing new. I have always campaigned, written and acted in favour of more scrutiny of the executive. That was the main theme of my book Commons' Knowledge.


The whole issue of MP's expenses is a way to express the disatifaction of the public at the way the politicians have screwed this country into the ground.

Just as bankers get bonuses so MP's get expenses - and they are both seen as being in it to line their pockets

So we have the worst recession in 50+years , debt obligations stretching 20 years into the future and its the actions of the bankers and politicians who helped this happen

So, its not really surprising that a way to kick politicians is needed because there are no elections until June and I doubt GB will go to the country before next year - expenses are dead easy, especially when some of the worst examples come from the Labour ranks - and just like bankers MP's just don't get it - they feel entitled

So by all means come up with a new system this week - but in fact it might be better if
a) politicians focussed on fixing the economic problems and cared less about being celebrities
b) decided to stay as Westminster a bit longer and not have a 12 week break - I can't so why is it OK for you ?

And finally , (thank goodness I hear you say ..) which PR genius thought that it would be good to create rules to effectively exclude most Gurkhas from staying in the UK? That must have been a good meeting ..!

Kay Tie

Douglas Carswell has a good idea:


Make departmental budgets have to be ratified by the appropriate select committee. Wouldn't that be good: the minister and civil servants have to appear before a committee and justify line by line their spending.

The select committees do a good job at rooting out incompetence and maladministration. Why not give them some proper power to do something about it?


65K is not a huge wage for a job with the responsibilities of an MP.The problems that i have with the archaic rules are

- Until recently receipts as proof of expenses were not required for MPS. Any self-employed person whose receipts do not tally with ex's could well be investigated.

- Although a large amount of work is done away from parliament the recesses are far too long for the baying public perception.

- MPS jobs are too important to have the freedom for outside interests. Outside interests not only take a parliamentarian away from his rightful workplace but have been proven to influence important votes.
The constituents should always take priority. A sitting MP should have one job - BAN OUTSIDE INTERESTS!

Kay Tie

I agree that we do need good politicians. But Parliament has allowed itself to become so emasculated - the rise of statutory instruments, the failure to hold ministers to account, and the inability to see the disconnect between people and the political/media carousel. The Americans would never tolerate the legislature being bullied and treated with contempt by the executive - the constitution forbids it.

In the very tough times to come, we will need our politicians. The Germans discovered in the 1930s what happens when the anti-politician mood installs a leader.

I think we need a new political compact - a new constitution, and a new political structure.


One comment sent to MPs sums up the mood. I have removed the name of the writer:
This whole debate is very sad. I am retiring and feel distraught to be leaving the finest set of people I have ever had the chance to serve with.

I feel MPs need a champion to say how hard you all work (irrespective of party). The public are unaware of the weeks away from families and friends. The costs of having to buy everything twice. The idea we couldn't have furniture (Cameron proposal) is daft we can't sit on cardboard boxes or all have rented furnished flats.

I now need special chairs and beds I don't think they would be available in a furnished flat. They are very expensive to supply twice for yourself . So, disabled MPs and candidates need more consideration.

Most of all I want to fight back rather than roll over. I have never heard anyone even try to put the case of the good noble honourable politician.Sack cloth and ashes won't pay the bills or attract new people to the job. Are only the rich to apply?

I strongly feel we need the Kelly report, we need independent assessment of an MP's worth without political interference. No 10 shouldn't be able to reduce pay rises, it always looks like an empty gesture and leads to institutional pay cuts now referred to as the MP's discounted pay. I know we make decisions about everyone else's lives but we shouldn't make decisions about this. We become too worried about real or percieved public opinion and objectivity goes out of the window.

Those who want to despise politicians always will, those who envy can't help themselves and some simply think they could do better until they try. I think you're all too wonderful to spend any more time on this when you have a country to run. Other professions have a professional body to look after their interests. That's what MPs need too.

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