Tuesday 12 May 2009

Carswell Motion is the first step towards rebuilding trust

Cassius has never been a fan of Speaker Martin. No Lenthall he – in November the man charged with defending Parliament against the Government threw open the doors and let in the enemy – and now, instead of rooting out those who have abused the electorate's trust he invites the same Police to find and arrest the whistleblower.

The Honour of Parliament is at stake, and like the greedy MP’s themselves, Martin seems to have read every sentence of the rulebook without a thought for the spirit of the Office he occupies. The Honour and magic of Parliament – enshrined in the role of the Speaker - may be difficult to define, but the obligations are real. The traditions may seem theatrical and quaint, but their purpose is serious . The Speaker must guide and be guided by Parliamentary Honour, and to do this he must neccesarily posess it. Being a "working class lad from Glasgow"is no excuse. Betty Boothroyd, once a dance hall performer, had an instinctive sense for the role, Dennis Skinner has it in spades. But Martin? He has none of it – like Macbeth - the original Scottish parvenu - his dress now seems to “hang loose about him, like a Giant's robes upon a dwarfish thief”. He has no sense of the body politic, he is in it for his political friends, and for himself.

At any other time this would be serious, but now – with a lame duck Prime Minister in charge of a failing Government, at a time of national economic emergency, and confronted by a catastrophic collapse in the relationship between the People and it’s Parliament it is vital that Douglas Carswell’s motion gets the support it deserves.

Speaker Martin has overseen the callous attempts to hide wrongdoing from the public and he continues to do so. Every MP should know that, whilst apologies are welcome, actions must follow – and a vote for the motion is the practical means by which honest MPs can demonstrate that their words are spoken in earnest, that they are prepared to drag this jaded politico from the Chair and replace him with a Speaker committed to cleaning up the mess. Doing so is the first step to rebuilding trust in Parliament - the first opportunity for MP’s to re-affirm their duty to constituents - to voters of all parties who, despite the kick in the teeth, might yet come out to support them at the General Election.

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