Monday, June 01, 2009

Reform Parliament should sit through the summer

The MP expenses scandal has created an urgent need for radical reform of parliamentary structures and procedures.

Here is a little list of necessary reforms:

  1. A General Election as soon as practically possible
  2. MPs get a flat rate London basic accommodation allowance
  3. Criminal charges against any fraudsters in Parliament
  4. Proportional Representation to elect MPs and the Second Chamber (i.e. the old House of Lords, now abolished)
  5. No more pantomime dresses/routines allowed in Parliament
  6. A new written Constitution
  7. A Bill of Rights
  8. Strict controls and real-time transparency for donations to political parties from corporations
  9. Strict controls on corporate lobbying
  10. Electorate to have power to recall an unsatisfactory MP
  11. Reduce the voting age to 16
  12. and a few others...
Now is the time to get things rolling. Strike while the iron is hot. But the problem is, how to find Parliamentary time to construct these reforms? This sorry government has 12 months max to stagger on, and its agenda will be packed with things to try to shore up Labour's crumbling fortunes, as well as dealing with the recession. As things stand, the reform agenda would drag on for years, tucked into spare corners of Commons time, and the heat and urgency will go out of the issues.

Losing their summer break would concentrate minds most wonderfully, and freed of the Gormenghast-style pantomimes of Parliamentary routine, they could get through the work in double quick time.

Therefore, it is entirely reasonable for we the people to demand that MPs cancel their summer holidays in Tuscany and Marbella, and stay on in Westminster over the summer, working up a decent reform programme.

They owe it to us, their employers, to do this. It will go some way to make amends for the mess they have created over their allowances.

Send your MP an email today from this link.

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