What happened to House of Commons reform?
Monday, 20 July 2009 06:37

'A week is a long time in politics' so they say; in other words we have short political memories. It's a little more than a week, but how many of us remember the duck island, the publically-funded porn and the miriad of other MPs' expenses.

We were promised reform, root and branch change with a new speaker of the House of Commons.

What has actually happened?

Precisely nothing so far.

This powerless rump of a Labour government led by a failed and powerless prime minister is still thrashing about clinging to power and pushing doctrinaire socialism. So it is with the constitutional reform bill brought before parliament. Reports bring out just one thing - life peers are to be able to resign.

If that's all the press can find to talk about then the whole bill is a total waste of time. However, there is nothing new in such behaviour, Gordon Brown is a compulsive complicator. He cannot resist the temptation to fiddle and make things more difficult than necessary. If there's a way to make life more difficult and more complex, especially by increasing the power and size of government then he's guaranteed to take that option.

The best example is tax credits - a whole system of dealing out money that is administered by a government department that was designed and skilled in taking money off people. Not the logical choice.

Sweeping changes are needed, but Brown and the current government cannot deliver it. Only a change of government will give us any chance - and it will be only a chance because the incoming government will be faced with economic issues the likes of which the UK has never seen.

Let's hope that time and effort can be found for real constitutional change in amongst the sorting out of public services.



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