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Unemployment: 2 million +1

ObPolitics: Well, that was an anti-climactic resignation, Mr Speaker. We could have done with something more dramatic for the history books, since it's apparently such a big deal. I'm a bit torn on this whole expenses thing, because it's fun to watch the politicians flailing on the end of a line, and the scale of what some of them have been doing - and the number of them who seem to have been doing it - is appalling - but really. We knew they were largely untrustworthy, profiteering, mendacious, superior gits, didn't we? And is expenses fiddling, or even expenses fraud, the worst thing they've done in the past ten years, even? I suppose the problem is that we have to blame the whole House of Commons for this, rather than saying just the party in power is full of rotters. I'll be interested to see if the upcoming revelations about what other (probably highly paid) jobs the MPs have on the side provoke such public ire, because that annoys me much more.

I do admit to being chuffed that Martin's going, but mostly from a sense of lingering resentment - I used to live in his constituency, and none of the other main parties put candidates up against him, so your vote really is useless. And in the Scottish elections, his son Paul holds it for Labour, too. Though at least your vote's going to the PR list system, then.

I still have terrible trouble recognising Nick Clegg, every time, even when I just saw the same interview half an hour ago. He should wear a BBC News-style banner with his name on it around his waist - that might help. Possibly.

Brown's talking about a new independent regulator for the HoC - Gary Gibbon of C4 News was the first to dub it OfCommons, which I hope catches on. (For confused non-Brits, the independent broadcasting regulator is called Ofcom...)

Tomorrow I'm hopefully going to see Coraline - w00t and yay! Definitely going to see the doctor, and worrying about whether I should go back to work on Friday.


May. 20th, 2009 02:51 pm (UTC)
I used to live in his constituency, and none of the other main parties put candidates up against him, so your vote really is useless.

Longstanding convention (and one I sorta like). The Speaker leaves their party on election to the Chair, and isn't counted in the election results as a party MP (listed under Others). The role is strictly apolitical. The only reason the SNP contests it is they're required by their constitution to contest every Scottish constituency regardless.

Worth noting that, because of this, Martin is resigning as an MP at the same time as being Speaker, so there's a by-election brewing.

The only way I'd say it could be sorted is if the Speaker ceases to be a constituency MP on appointment, and becomes an employee of the House, but that's a significant change and I'm not sure it's a good idea myself. I probably ought to look up how they used to do it when most MPs were in multi-member constituencies as well.
May. 20th, 2009 10:07 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I've just been picking a lot of this up over the last few days - I might have known at one stage that the Speaker leaves his party, but I'd forgotten. I can see why they do it, but it does leave voters in that constituency pretty much disenfranchised.

I was wondering if the Speaker has to be an MP - if they're mostly a referee, it doesn't seem to matter. (I saw someone suggesting Joanna Lumley!) But I have a suspicion there's more involved in it than that ;)
May. 20th, 2009 10:24 pm (UTC)
Speaker has always been an MP, and would definitely need to be someone elected from within itself.

I tend to be fairly Whiggish when it comes to constitutional issues—I like the way things have developed generally, want to fix the mistakes and build on them, the Speaker needs to have the respect of the whole house, Martin never did. The new way of electing his replacement looks quite good though.
May. 20th, 2009 10:31 pm (UTC)
Mmm, yeah, secret ballot sounds good. Not sure if anyone has the respect of the whole house these days, but we'll see!


bad wolf
Notes from extinction

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