Monday, June 03, 2013

MPs We Deserve?

They've not got much of a reputation at the moment, these MPs we send to Westminster.  And the fact that the lobbying scandal has engulfed three Lords and only one Commons member in its current round doesn't seem to have helped the elected lot one jot.

Now the government, in its customarily ham-fisted way, has tried to use the scandal for the cynical purpose of a bit of anti-union legislation.  Ian Dunt, editor of politics.co.uk, called this a "disreputable" move.  Rafael Behr was even more scathing in his rather lyrical tweet:


But perhaps most refreshingly came the reaction from Tory MP and certified maverick Douglas Carswell.  He questioned whether the lobbying scandal had really generated concerns about trade unionism, as well as asking whether or not it was the lobbyists or the lawmakers who required a bit more oversight.  Take a look at this series of his recent tweets, and then remind yourself that he's an MP:


Carswell - along with MEP chum Dan Hannan - is of course also behind moves to allow for recall of MPs, and indeed to have MPs face re-election when appointed ministers, as at least a method of distinguishing legislature and executive in our merrily fused system.  Author of a radical book titled "The End of Politics", as well as regular blogger and tweeter (in an interesting, ideas-oriented rather than dully formulaic way), Carswell is the sort of MP who just about restores your faith in the willingness of the elected public servant to actually - well, you know, serve the public interest.

Of course there are other often unsung heroes in Westminster.  And we shouldn't easily forget, either, that if we don't like what they do, we can exercise our hard won right to kick them out, or we could become involved.  Even stand, perhaps?  I know such an exercise doesn't always have the right result - Warley East in 1992 springs to mind - but it's a sight better than sitting back and bemoaning the calibre of our political class.  They're there because we choose for them to be there.  Douglas Carswell knows that.  So do quite a few others.  The more we hear from them - whether we agree or not - the healthier our democracy can be.  And, of course, since we get the Commons we deserve, we might feel a little bit better about ourselves too!

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