A good sign of things to come

images (216)The decision by 21 Labour MPs to abstain in the vote last night on George Osborne’s unnecessary and irrelevant fiscal charter is very welcome. It is possible that their decision to take Jeremy Corbyn at his word will send such deep shock waves through the Labour leadership and the wider party that the whole Corbyn leadership will be treated as a failed experiment and that the Parliamentary Labour Party will move to end this, despite the electoral mandate that lies behind Jeremy Corbyn. Alternatively perhaps team Corbyn/McDonnell will lose their nerve. On the other hand I hope that this permissive arrangement where MPs are freed to vote with their conscience on most Bills, will begin to spread to the whole of Parliament. It is centuries since most MPs went to Parliament with only their conscience and wishes of their electorate to guide them. There have been exceptions such as Martin Bell, but truly Independent MPs have been few and far between since the time when our Political Parties were first formed to attempt to defeat the King and achieve the sort of impact on their day, that the Magna Carta achieved for the 10th Century. If this freedom is seen to release Labour MPs to truly vote as they wish, there will be increasing pressure on the bolder Conservative Party MPs to ignore their party on votes that are crucial to their own constituents. No doubt MPs such as Sarah Wollaston and David Davis will lead the way. Perhaps by 2025 the change will have become so developed that most of us will also vote with our judgement and conscience and ignore our traditional practice, voting for the candidate that closest reflects our values, rather than the one who is a member of the Party we usually vote for. This could begin to change the balance of voting in constituencies which we currently judge to be safe seats allowing all voters to influence who represents them. The winners will be the electorate who will get the Government they voted for, rather than one created by the Political Party which is hated the least.


About ianchisnall

I have a passion to see public policy made accessible everyone who want to improve the wellbeing of their communities. I am interested in issues related to crime and policing as well as in policies on health services and strategic planning.
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