Look behind you!

images0ZJ8U8EBYesterday ‘our’ Members of Parliament got an opportunity to discuss their relationship with the European Union and its Parliament with the Prime Minister who has been busy negotiating with the EU. This came a day after David Cameron had travelled away from London to a Siemens factory to announce the changes to a group of journalists, whilst the MPs were left to discuss the issue in his absence. When Boris Johnson finally got a chance to speak he asked “How will this negotiation restrict the volume of legislation coming from Brussels, will [it] change the treaties so as to assert the authority of this House of Commons and of these houses of parliament?” It would be easy to be lulled into the idea that the House of Commons has authority and that other keyword sovereignty over our nation if it wasn’t for the fact that our Parliament is supposed to be a representative body, and that MPs are supposed to be democratically chosen from amongst their fellow men and women. In reality some 85% of the people invited to yesterdays discussion were there as a result of their selection by a dominant political party in the local area which the MP is supposed to represent. Most of the other 15% represent constituencies which do from time to time return an MP from a short list of 2 or 3 popular political parties. However these parties are popular, because our political system is dominated by these parties, not necessarily because these people have actively sought local opinions on a range of issues. One or two of the 650 MPs represent parties or causes that do not hold such stranglehold over our nation. However the vast majority make decisions based on the views of their MPs or on the party members. Taken as a whole the party members make up less than 1% of the population of our country. In reality the authority of the House of Commons is based on a false promise. Not much more democratic than the 27 commissioners whose decisions dominate Europe. If we are going to reform Europe, we also need to be honest about the failings of our own structures and reform our Parliament too.


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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