Wednesday, February 06, 2008

King Herod's Nursery

I've generally sought to avoid commenting on the issues surrounding MPs and their expenses as I believe the issue is in danger of being over sensationalised and some of the details need to be exposed. But the announcement of the Commons committee to look at reform is really quite astounding. Only one of the six has not been embroiled in one scandal or another. (Daily Mail: Commons Speaker accused of fix as 'dodgy' MPs are put in charge of sleaze reform) This is like putting King Herod in charge of a nursery!

Michael Martin has come under heavy fire lately with many blaming him as the mian obstacle to full disclosure about MPs' financial arrangements. He is also known to be vindictive hence no MP is willing to speak out against him or make moves to depose him. Surely it's time he was replaced?

And if MPs won't do it, then why not see if the voters will try? There is a sometimes recognised convention that the major parties do not contest the Speaker's seat, although Labour have rarely observed it (and the Scottish National Party don't). But if the Speaker is no longer providing the best service, perhaps it's time to abandon this convention and challenge Martin in his own seat at the next election. Or what about an independent, pro reform candidate?

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