Upper Chamber & Election expenses

busIt is disturbing that our democracy is being treated so malevolently by men and women who claim to be leading our nation. The truth is that all of our largest political parties are deeply corrupt and it is time their influence was curtailed and limited once and for all. The fact that the investigation into the election expenses abuse by those involved in the Tory battle bus tour has still not reached a conclusion nearly 2 years after the event shows how deeply uncooperative the party is when it comes to being held accountable. Their mantra is if you don’t like our policies or how we operate then change the MP at the next election. However when what they have been doing is breaking electoral law, it seems vital that their honesty or not is tested promptly and rigorously. That they have not been more cooperative is an indication that they hold the electoral authorities as well as the public in deepest contempt. On one thing I agree with David Cameron, that what he and his party did in 2015 the other big parties were also doing. The idea that because a party is big enough, that it should be entitled to spend money at a national level as well as in local constituencies is at the heart of the corruption. Having stood in a political campaign five years ago, I know how the party in government chooses to make the rules in a way that advantages them and the parties like them, at the expense of small parties and independent candidates. We need a major change and these parties will never be the ones that call for the change.

On the issue of the upper chamber, right now the Tories are understandably calling for the Lords to be placed in check. This house is after all unelected and intended to be subservient to the House of Commons. The fact is that five years ago the Tory led coalition chose not to reform the Lords in a meaningful way. They cannot now complain if the Lords is acting in what they consider to be an unconstitutional way. I would like to see the Lords emptied of everyone who has in the last 5 years ever been a member of a political party. I would like the Lords to be elected although the nature of the election is not something I have a fixed view on. I am grateful that in the Lords we have people like Tanni Grey Thompson who understands what life is like when train operators don’t make allowance for wheelchair users. I am grateful that we have people like Sir Robert Winston whose scientific background means laws are scrutinised from a different perspective to the way in which the Commons assembles the laws. There are numerous ways in which we could assemble a second Chamber that ensures that those elected represent our views. This does not mean that they need to be voted for on the same basis as our MPs are chosen. However in the meantime, the second chamber as it exists is there to do a job, to hold the House of Commons in check and ensure our laws are adjusted based on their wisdom and experience. If Theresa May does not like this, then she should reflect on her failure in 2012 to ensure that the Government she was a key player in passed suitable legislation.


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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