The Professors passion for "The Science of Deceit" started here...

Employed by the Ministry (in a covert capacity) to help introduce the law ending dishonest politics, you can see his hand all over the posts of past.

Current political circumstances have forced him to reveal himself and as we speak, MPs are signing up to re-introduce The Elected Representatives (Prohibition of Deception) Bill for debate with over 80,000 voters supporting them.

Posts before Jan '08 are purely for the record (with hindsight they make fascinating reading). Posts after May 13th mark the Professor's return.

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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Brown movement

From the Prof :

With all the parties laying out their "vision for reform", we're pleased to note Brown has finally mooted the right to "recall"our MPs.

Encouraging. Perhaps.

Are we playing the sap again ? Some thoughts on this ;

1) When Brown ascended to the throne he promised constitutional reform, we were excited then. So far...  nada.

2) Given he's delivered nothing in the last 18 months, he doesn't have the time to implement anything - let alone constitutional reform on this scale.

3) This gov (and Parliament) has been responsible for more unenforceable, "message-based" legislation than I care to remember. They are masters of the art. Only last week, after PMQ's, Harriet Harman hailed the "end of self regulation" with the proposed Parliamentary Standards Authority. Her response to Adam Price MP's question illustrates the point ;

20 May 2009 : Hansard, Column 1518

Adam Price (Carmarthen, East and Dinefwr) (PC): My question to the right hon. and learned Lady is this: will the standard of honesty form part of the remit of the new parliamentary standards authority, so that members of the public can refer for independent investigation cases in which they believe there is evidence that Members of Parliament, including Ministers, have misled this House and misled the country?

Several hon. Members rose -

Mr. Speaker: Order. There are only a few hon. Members left, and I have given a lot of leeway, particularly in this matter, but it really should just be a supplementary question that is asked. I ask the remaining Members to do that.

Ms Harman: We are, of course, answerable to our constituents for the honesty and integrity with which we represent them and go about our work in the House, and to the Chair for not misleading other Members. I think that the regulation of our democracy is ultimately with those who elect us. We are currently considering regulating our pay and our allowances, having codes of conduct and making proposals for their enforcement; that does not cut across the basic fundamental principle of democracy.

Can anyone decipher that answer ? As far as I can tell it simply re-affirms the status quo with regard to Adam's question and states they are merely "considering" regulating pay and allowances via the proposed Parliamentary Standards Authority.
Now that all the parties are trying to outdo each other with measures for reform the goalposts moved on this week . Which means, once again, these guys aren't leading, aren't coming from the same direction as the public and have to be forced into concessions on accountability - as per the Freedom of Information Act.

4) The process of recall. Given it's tough enough deciding whether it's easier to pay a £50 parking ticket than go through the process of appealing - what does that mean for the process of recall ?

Generally, it's too early to say whether these guys are really serious this time but all the history points to fact that even if they were serious they'd come up with something that's unworkable and you'd have to give up your day job to get the thing done.

5) Possibly the question that puts the final nail in the coffin - do we trust them ?

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