Tuesday, May 19, 2009

So Speaker Martin resigns.. now we need to go after proper reform

In a rather short curt speech, completely lacking in any apology, explanation or leadership and sadly rather true to form, undignified and ungraceful, the House of Commons speaker Michael Martin announced his resignation this afternoon.

Speaker Martin said he will be stepping down on Sunday the 21st June.

It is right that he should go. Having called for his resignation consistenly for the last couple of weeks now... and I gave my reason in a post early this week, I take no satisfaction from his resignation. It is always sad to see someone losing his job and blotting an otherwise distinguished career.

Speaker Martin got it badly wrong over the MPs abuse of expenses fiasco. Under his stewardship, the House of Commons has been brought into disrepute. His departments have approved claims for expenses from MPs, that quite clearly breached the guidelines and even in some cases, may well prove to have colluded in fraud. Furthermore, his department, the 'Fees Office' misguided MPs about their false claims, claims that according to The Green Book (A Guide to Members Allowances), should never have been accepted never mind passed for payment!

Footnote on Scapegoat Excuses and Bigotry

Speaker Martin is NO scapegoat. He is just the first of many that have to take responsibility (other than the MPs who have already had to stand down from various party positions) and must go... culpable for their own actions, in this whole disgraceful fiasco!

I keep hearing many people, particularly from Scotland, saying how honest Speaker Martin is and that he is a good 'Christian' etc. Well this is as may be... but what has this got to do with anything? Sectarianism and bigotry may still be important and an issue in Glasgow... but this has nothing whatever to do with why Speaker Martin had to go... NOR should it! Certainly not as far as I'm concerned and neither have I heard any other critic from any source, justify any reason as to why he had to go as being due to his religion!

Dissolving Parliament should be the next step

The 'Kelly Review' which is currently looking into reforming MPs expenses will not be reporting back to the House for a long time. At the very earliest, some expect it to be sometime in the early Autumn. Sources close to the committee say it is "unrealistic" to think could report back any earlier and its chairman, Sir Christopher Kelly, quite rightly, should not be rushed and he says he will not be "boxed in".

Therefore, in my humble opinion, in the first instance, I believe dissolving Parliament and calling for a General Election, should be the next step in trying to bring back some semblance of confidence in Parliament and the House of Commons. The Electorate would then have the opportunity to de-select wrongdoing MPs and be canvassed and persuaded to back whoever Constituents feel they can put their trust in for the future.

I fear however, that it will be a very long time before the Electorate can regain its trust in our most valued and important of institutions for our democracy!

Do you agree?

Should Parliament be dissolved and a General Election be called now?
Don't know
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