Friday, 29 January 2010

Harman scuppers Commons reform. My response and the response from a TPA branch member

There is something very undemocratic about the way the executive holds sway in our legislature. Surely the elected representatives of the people should have more power to hold the executive to account? Yes it should, but in reality, this seldom happens.

If anything remotely contentious is wending its way through parliament, you can guarantee the government will at some stage use a guillotine motion to stifle debate and therefore scrutiny. The power of the whips remains supreme in appointing members of select committees. You have to be a good boy or girl if you want to get on and hold any position of influence. If you are a maverick, life will be very hard for you.

Ben Farrugia highlights in this article how once again reform of the House of Commons is going to be blocked by the government. Changes that could and would have made a difference to democracy in this country will not happen in the lifetime of this parliament because of a procedural trick played by Harriet Harman.

Ben describes this as a complete and utter disgrace. He is right. One day this country will become a democracy again, instead of an elected dictatorship.

TPA member, Julie Fisk, has written to both Harriet Harman and Labour chief whip, Nick Brown. She is hopping mad, as you will be able to see, and this letter expresses the frustration of many people I have spoken to. When will the so-called ‘elite’ ever learn?

Dear Madam and Sir

You are both a disgrace.  I have just read about your disgraceful intentions in The Times, i.e.

“The Government has decided to table an “unamendable order” — which will mean that an objection from a single MP will prevent any of the measures from being introduced. This is almost certain to happen since there is a hardcore minority against the proposals.”

How dare you! You are both SERVANTS of the British People – you are NOT Masters.

Please understand that. – The public were appalled by the MP’s Expenses Scandal and all parties agreed that there was a need for reform.

What does it take to get through to you that the British public are sick and tired of your pathetic excuses? Wake up! Do we need a revolution to get through to you just how you are viewed by the majority of us?

I have never marched or held a protest banner in my life – but I can tell you now that I will be on of the first people in queue to rid our parliament of unscrupulous people like you.

You disgust me.

Julie Fisk

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Virtual Farewell Booths

I was interviewed by Peter Levy on BBC Radio Humberside yesterday about funding for proposed Virtual Farewell Booths at airports. For more about this ridiculous waste of taxpayers' money, read this report from the Daily Mail.

Friday, 8 January 2010

Outraged by Albert's removal from his round? Contact the council and tell them what you think

From Big Brother Watch:

Yesterday, Dylan wrote about the disgraceful way binman Albert Stewart has been treated by Ormskirk Council - moved from his route for picking up rubbish left beside bins, i.e. exercising a bit of common sense and doing his job well.

I've just written to the relevant Council Officer to express my displeasure, and I thought that you might wish to do so too:

Pat Burgess
Refuse and Recycling Manager
Tel: 01695 577177 ext.5432


I know this is not in our area, but I think it is a case worth highlighting and taking action on.


Apologise, Cllr Inglis, it was all your fault

The Big Screen debate in Hull still continues to rage, according to the Hull Daily Mail. I have been debating with Cllr Colin Inglis, although he doesn’t regard it as debating. He regards it as banging his head against a brick wall, as he tries to (as far as I’m concerned) defend the indefensible. 

Click HERE to read my latest letter published in the Hull Daily Mail. It was published on Monday January 4.

Thursday, 7 January 2010

IPSA waters down Kelly’s recommendations

Last November, Sir Christopher Kelly published his report into reforming MPs’ expenses and allowances. The main party leaders agreed to implement Sir Christopher’s recommendations in full. You could be forgiven for thinking this was the end of the matter. Not so.

A consultation exercise starts today by the new quango set-up to regulate MPs. The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) is asking for your views, even though you have given them already. You have made it clear you want tighter regulation of the allowances and expenses MPs get. You have made it clear you want MPs to sell their second homes and if they make a capital gain, it should be returned to the taxpayer.  It seems though you will have to make your views known again.

Please go to IPSA’s website and fill out the questionnaire and give your MPs a clear message (again).