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politicalbetting.com » Blog Archive » Getting the MPs we deserve?

SystemSystem Posts: 6,666
edited April 12 in General

imagepoliticalbetting.com » Blog Archive » Getting the MPs we deserve?

In a rare moment of PB agreement in a recent thread, Casino_Royale and Nick Palmer, himself a former MP, discussed the shallow gene pool which provides too many of our MPs, and the party and parliamentary processes which aim – not always successfully – to keep them in check. Strong whipping, party patronage and a lack of local competition in their seats mean too many members can enjoy a trouble- and blame-free life on the backbenches with an agreeably-subsidised lunch. As Nick also pointed out, this stifles free thinking and bores some of the cream before it has the chance to rise to the top. (Before I go any further, I apologise for the generalisations in this piece, and agree wholeheartedly that most MPs are doing what they believe to be best, and a number way in excess of zero succeeding).

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Comments

  • Ishmael_ZIshmael_Z Posts: 7,063
    Leave, and Corbyn, are both examples of what you get when you give the public at large the right to make decisions well above their pay grade.
  • MyBurningEarsMyBurningEars Posts: 2,971
    Nicely argued!

    Much as I'd love "to at least a few more of us checking who we’re sending there in the first place, " fee found that background information about first - time candidates is generally lacking, and that the apparent quality of candidates can be pretty thin gruel across the partisan board.
  • TOPPINGTOPPING Posts: 18,157
    Sorry that's not right. Anyone can become an MP. Those that are wanted to be one more than us on here. A few exceptions notwithstanding of course.
  • JackJackJackJack Posts: 98
    Ishmael_Z said:

    Leave, and Corbyn, are both examples of what you get when you give the public at large the right to make decisions well above their pay grade.

    The Eurozone Crisis and the Iraq Qar are what you get when you put decisions in the hands of elites.
  • kyf_100kyf_100 Posts: 1,508
    Ishmael_Z said:

    Leave, and Corbyn, are both examples of what you get when you give the public at large the right to make decisions well above their pay grade.

    There is no decision above the pay grade of the electorate. That is what democracy is.
  • Ishmael_ZIshmael_Z Posts: 7,063
    JackJack said:

    Ishmael_Z said:

    Leave, and Corbyn, are both examples of what you get when you give the public at large the right to make decisions well above their pay grade.

    The Eurozone Crisis and the Iraq Qar are what you get when you put decisions in the hands of elites.
    Everything that happens is what happens when you put decisions in the hands of elites*, so what is your point?

    *except in Switzerland, and they don't do Qars.
  • GasmanGasman Posts: 106
    I just wish that people could see the way from one true statement: "the quality of our politicians is lamentable" to the logical next - "we should limit their power over us".

    Plenty of people can see that May is an idiot, and that Corbyn is an idiot, but too few seem to think this is a system problem.

    The things the government must do are defence of the realm and a functioning legal/justice system. Maybe once those are sorted properly they might be allowed to look at other problems.
  • RoyalBlueRoyalBlue Posts: 3,215
    Ishmael_Z said:

    Leave, and Corbyn, are both examples of what you get when you give the public at large the right to make decisions well above their pay grade.

    It must be so tiring being perfect.
  • williamglennwilliamglenn Posts: 28,775
    kyf_100 said:

    Ishmael_Z said:

    Leave, and Corbyn, are both examples of what you get when you give the public at large the right to make decisions well above their pay grade.

    There is no decision above the pay grade of the electorate. That is what democracy is.
    Should we have held a referendum on invading Iraq?
  • AnorakAnorak Posts: 5,850
    edited April 12
    This thread is devastating. Assange is a grade A, copper bottomed c*nt.
  • Ishmael_ZIshmael_Z Posts: 7,063
    kyf_100 said:

    Ishmael_Z said:

    Leave, and Corbyn, are both examples of what you get when you give the public at large the right to make decisions well above their pay grade.

    There is no decision above the pay grade of the electorate. That is what democracy is.
    No, that is what *direct* democracy is, and we don't do direct democracy. The only decision the electorate gets to make (with very rare and unhappy exceptions) is whom to send to the House of Commons. That may or not be a bad thing, but it is the way things are.
  • kle4kle4 Posts: 44,622
    I think it unlikely we will send a better calibre of politician to Westminster in the future. We might hope we will check a bit more on who we are sending, but we won't. It's too hard to find out, and there's probably not even a way to in some sense test the candidates in a way which is actually useful. That's what we hope the parties will do, while ensuring said person is within at least a general range of idelogical opinion.
  • Ishmael_ZIshmael_Z Posts: 7,063
    RoyalBlue said:

    Ishmael_Z said:

    Leave, and Corbyn, are both examples of what you get when you give the public at large the right to make decisions well above their pay grade.

    It must be so tiring being perfect.
    What?
  • kyf_100kyf_100 Posts: 1,508
    Ishmael_Z said:

    kyf_100 said:

    Ishmael_Z said:

    Leave, and Corbyn, are both examples of what you get when you give the public at large the right to make decisions well above their pay grade.

    There is no decision above the pay grade of the electorate. That is what democracy is.
    No, that is what *direct* democracy is, and we don't do direct democracy. The only decision the electorate gets to make (with very rare and unhappy exceptions) is whom to send to the House of Commons. That may or not be a bad thing, but it is the way things are.
    No, that is what democracy is. We elect people. If we feel they have done a bad job, we sack them and get new people who are better able to represent us.

    "Direct" democracy is having a referendum.

    Then actually implementing it.

    What we currently have is a shower of shite who won't implement the result of a referendum. It's now the electorate's job to judge them on that failure.
  • MyBurningEarsMyBurningEars Posts: 2,971
    Ishmael_Z said:

    Leave, and Corbyn, are both examples of what you get when you give the public at large the right to make decisions well above their pay grade.

    Given that questions of whether you want your country's destiny to be locked into an ever-deeper political union ultimately come down to a big call about identity and where you want your country to be positioned in the world, in a way that can transcend party boundaries, I think that's more naturally a referendum issue than an election one. Similarly for independence referendums and other Big Picture stuff. For what it's worth, if there had been really deep-seated public unease at Britain tying itself into the Western/Atlantacist power bloc then I think a NATO referendum would have been valid / desirable.

    As for Corbyn, I think it's daft for a party to allow its leader to be chosen by those outside the party, but it remains true that Labour's membership today is significantly more left-wing (albeit perhaps not as extremely so as is often made out) than its parliamentary representation, so I don't think outsiders can be "blamed" for the push-back against centrism and there is an argument that Labour MPs could have tried harder to work with their membership's preferences.
  • Sunil_PrasannanSunil_Prasannan Posts: 30,422
    The oddest place where I saw "Free Julian Assange" graffiti was in Denver in 2011. I passed a huge railway yard on the local light rail, and one of those yellow Union Pacific diesel locos had the slogan plastered over it.
  • Sunil_PrasannanSunil_Prasannan Posts: 30,422
    Ishmael_Z said:

    kyf_100 said:

    Ishmael_Z said:

    Leave, and Corbyn, are both examples of what you get when you give the public at large the right to make decisions well above their pay grade.

    There is no decision above the pay grade of the electorate. That is what democracy is.
    No, that is what *direct* democracy is, and we don't do direct democracy.
    You mean like the Referendum in 1975?
  • Ishmael_ZIshmael_Z Posts: 7,063
    kyf_100 said:

    Ishmael_Z said:

    kyf_100 said:

    Ishmael_Z said:

    Leave, and Corbyn, are both examples of what you get when you give the public at large the right to make decisions well above their pay grade.

    There is no decision above the pay grade of the electorate. That is what democracy is.
    No, that is what *direct* democracy is, and we don't do direct democracy. The only decision the electorate gets to make (with very rare and unhappy exceptions) is whom to send to the House of Commons. That may or not be a bad thing, but it is the way things are.
    No, that is what democracy is. We elect people. If we feel they have done a bad job, we sack them and get new people who are better able to represent us.

    "Direct" democracy is having a referendum.

    Then actually implementing it.

    What we currently have is a shower of shite who won't implement the result of a referendum. It's now the electorate's job to judge them on that failure.
    Sure. But the public gets to change the decision-makers, which is not the same thing as making decisions.
  • Sunil_PrasannanSunil_Prasannan Posts: 30,422
    India's largest privately-owned airline, Jet Airways, in trouble:

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-47905089
  • AnorakAnorak Posts: 5,850

    India's largest privately-owned airline, Jet Airways, in trouble:

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-47905089

    If, by "in trouble", you mean "utterly screwed", then I completely agree.
  • Sunil_PrasannanSunil_Prasannan Posts: 30,422
    Ishmael_Z said:

    kyf_100 said:

    Ishmael_Z said:

    kyf_100 said:

    Ishmael_Z said:

    Leave, and Corbyn, are both examples of what you get when you give the public at large the right to make decisions well above their pay grade.

    There is no decision above the pay grade of the electorate. That is what democracy is.
    No, that is what *direct* democracy is, and we don't do direct democracy. The only decision the electorate gets to make (with very rare and unhappy exceptions) is whom to send to the House of Commons. That may or not be a bad thing, but it is the way things are.
    No, that is what democracy is. We elect people. If we feel they have done a bad job, we sack them and get new people who are better able to represent us.

    "Direct" democracy is having a referendum.

    Then actually implementing it.

    What we currently have is a shower of shite who won't implement the result of a referendum. It's now the electorate's job to judge them on that failure.
    Sure. But the public gets to change the decision-makers, which is not the same thing as making decisions.
    1975?
  • nunuonenunuone Posts: 844
    Remain politicians would do well to take the Brexit Party seriously.

    If the threat posed by UKIP had been taken a bit more seriously by Cameron back in 2013, who knows what might of happened. (Or not happened).

    UKIP might well have been mainly clowns but what they represented had much broader support than the people who led UKIP at the time.

    Decrying the Moggs et al as posh twats isn't really addressing the issue.
  • JosiasJessopJosiasJessop Posts: 23,828
    Anorak said:

    This thread is devastating. Assange is a grade A, copper bottomed c*nt.

    If you are going to have a gatekeeper, you need to keep an eye on the gatekeeper. In the case of Wikileaks, it was clear from the beginning that it was very much about where Assange wanted to focus the truth than on the whole truth.
  • Sunil_PrasannanSunil_Prasannan Posts: 30,422
    edited April 12
    Anorak said:

    India's largest privately-owned airline, Jet Airways, in trouble:

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-47905089

    If, by "in trouble", you mean "utterly screwed", then I completely agree.
    Subsequently in 2016, reports surfaced that the initial investment for Jet airways itself had come through shell companies from Isle of Man, and was heavily funded by the Indian underworld.[116] This was documented in detail in the book A Feast of Vultures.[117]
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jet_Airways
  • AnorakAnorak Posts: 5,850

    snips farage/proclaimers mash-up

    Saw that earlier. Marvellous and very clever.
  • kyf_100kyf_100 Posts: 1,508
    Ishmael_Z said:

    kyf_100 said:

    Ishmael_Z said:

    kyf_100 said:

    Ishmael_Z said:

    Leave, and Corbyn, are both examples of what you get when you give the public at large the right to make decisions well above their pay grade.

    There is no decision above the pay grade of the electorate. That is what democracy is.
    No, that is what *direct* democracy is, and we don't do direct democracy. The only decision the electorate gets to make (with very rare and unhappy exceptions) is whom to send to the House of Commons. That may or not be a bad thing, but it is the way things are.
    No, that is what democracy is. We elect people. If we feel they have done a bad job, we sack them and get new people who are better able to represent us.

    "Direct" democracy is having a referendum.

    Then actually implementing it.

    What we currently have is a shower of shite who won't implement the result of a referendum. It's now the electorate's job to judge them on that failure.
    Sure. But the public gets to change the decision-makers, which is not the same thing as making decisions.
    No, it is not. It is a managerial role.

    We, the public, choose who to hire and who to fire.

    They are accountable to us, not the other way round.

    We are their masters. A fact that many of the current lot seem to have forgotten. It is my sincere hope that the whole rotten lot get their P45s at the first possible opportunity.
  • nico67nico67 Posts: 1,761
    Isn’t it great to have ten days without Brexit drama .

    We can all recharge our batteries . For political junkies like most in this forum am I the only one who feels a bit exhausted by recent events.

    The last few weeks have been a real rollercoaster .
  • TOPPINGTOPPING Posts: 18,157
    edited April 12
    nunuone said:

    Remain politicians would do well to take the Brexit Party seriously.

    If the threat posed by UKIP had been taken a bit more seriously by Cameron back in 2013, who knows what might of happened. (Or not happened).

    UKIP might well have been mainly clowns but what they represented had much broader support than the people who led UKIP at the time.

    Decrying the Moggs et al as posh twats isn't really addressing the issue.

    Doesn’t make it any less true.

    As to your other point at this stage we are beyond the Brexit Party. We know the choices in front of us and it is up to our MPs to make a decision.

    There is no one who is going to (be allowed to) negotiate any other deal.
  • kle4kle4 Posts: 44,622
    Things moving quickly!

    The head of Sudan military council has stepped down a day after long-time leader Omar al-Bashir was toppled in a coup

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-47913338
  • Ishmael_ZIshmael_Z Posts: 7,063
    kyf_100 said:

    Ishmael_Z said:

    kyf_100 said:

    Ishmael_Z said:

    kyf_100 said:

    Ishmael_Z said:

    Leave, and Corbyn, are both examples of what you get when you give the public at large the right to make decisions well above their pay grade.

    There is no decision above the pay grade of the electorate. That is what democracy is.
    No, that is what *direct* democracy is, and we don't do direct democracy. The only decision the electorate gets to make (with very rare and unhappy exceptions) is whom to send to the House of Commons. That may or not be a bad thing, but it is the way things are.
    No, that is what democracy is. We elect people. If we feel they have done a bad job, we sack them and get new people who are better able to represent us.

    "Direct" democracy is having a referendum.

    Then actually implementing it.

    What we currently have is a shower of shite who won't implement the result of a referendum. It's now the electorate's job to judge them on that failure.
    Sure. But the public gets to change the decision-makers, which is not the same thing as making decisions.
    No, it is not. It is a managerial role.

    We, the public, choose who to hire and who to fire.

    They are accountable to us, not the other way round.

    We are their masters. A fact that many of the current lot seem to have forgotten. It is my sincere hope that the whole rotten lot get their P45s at the first possible opportunity.
    We simply don't have the powers you would like us to have, though. A manager has the right to fire immediately for gross incompetence. We have to wait till 2022 unless the very people we would like to fire decide to bring the date forward.
  • Ishmael_ZIshmael_Z Posts: 7,063

    Ishmael_Z said:

    kyf_100 said:

    Ishmael_Z said:

    kyf_100 said:

    Ishmael_Z said:

    Leave, and Corbyn, are both examples of what you get when you give the public at large the right to make decisions well above their pay grade.

    There is no decision above the pay grade of the electorate. That is what democracy is.
    No, that is what *direct* democracy is, and we don't do direct democracy. The only decision the electorate gets to make (with very rare and unhappy exceptions) is whom to send to the House of Commons. That may or not be a bad thing, but it is the way things are.
    No, that is what democracy is. We elect people. If we feel they have done a bad job, we sack them and get new people who are better able to represent us.

    "Direct" democracy is having a referendum.

    Then actually implementing it.

    What we currently have is a shower of shite who won't implement the result of a referendum. It's now the electorate's job to judge them on that failure.
    Sure. But the public gets to change the decision-makers, which is not the same thing as making decisions.
    1975?
    2011, 2016.
  • AnorakAnorak Posts: 5,850
    nico67 said:

    Isn’t it great to have ten days without Brexit drama .

    We can all recharge our batteries . For political junkies like most in this forum am I the only one who feels a bit exhausted by recent events.

    The last few weeks have been a real rollercoaster .

    It is a blessed relief. I hope our venerable parliamentarians* take a good break away from Brexit and come back refreshed and clear-thinking. I feel the utter shambles of the last month was (in part) due to mental fatigue. Not the best state in which to make momentous decisions.

    * Venal, duplicitous, self-serving tossers like Boris excepted.
  • Sunil_PrasannanSunil_Prasannan Posts: 30,422
    Ishmael_Z said:

    Ishmael_Z said:

    kyf_100 said:

    Ishmael_Z said:

    kyf_100 said:

    Ishmael_Z said:

    Leave, and Corbyn, are both examples of what you get when you give the public at large the right to make decisions well above their pay grade.

    There is no decision above the pay grade of the electorate. That is what democracy is.
    No, that is what *direct* democracy is, and we don't do direct democracy. The only decision the electorate gets to make (with very rare and unhappy exceptions) is whom to send to the House of Commons. That may or not be a bad thing, but it is the way things are.
    No, that is what democracy is. We elect people. If we feel they have done a bad job, we sack them and get new people who are better able to represent us.

    "Direct" democracy is having a referendum.

    Then actually implementing it.

    What we currently have is a shower of shite who won't implement the result of a referendum. It's now the electorate's job to judge them on that failure.
    Sure. But the public gets to change the decision-makers, which is not the same thing as making decisions.
    1975?
    2011, 2016.
    Should there have been a referendum ("direct democracy" in your words) in 1975? Yes or no?
  • swing_voterswing_voter Posts: 495
    Interesting piece....to me it is tellign that some of our more interesting/successful politicians are not even MPs - Nigel Farage, Gina Miller, Nicola Sturgeon, Ruth Davidson, Alistair Campbell dont even sit in Westminster and yet play very important roles that show you dont have to succeed there to make a difference.
  • kyf_100kyf_100 Posts: 1,508
    Ishmael_Z said:

    kyf_100 said:

    Ishmael_Z said:

    kyf_100 said:

    Ishmael_Z said:

    kyf_100 said:

    Ishmael_Z said:

    Leave, and Corbyn, are both examples of what you get when you give the public at large the right to make decisions well above their pay grade.

    There is no decision above the pay grade of the electorate. That is what democracy is.
    No, that is what *direct* democracy is, and we don't do direct democracy. The only decision the electorate gets to make (with very rare and unhappy exceptions) is whom to send to the House of Commons. That may or not be a bad thing, but it is the way things are.
    No, that is what democracy is. We elect people. If we feel they have done a bad job, we sack them and get new people who are better able to represent us.

    "Direct" democracy is having a referendum.

    Then actually implementing it.

    What we currently have is a shower of shite who won't implement the result of a referendum. It's now the electorate's job to judge them on that failure.
    Sure. But the public gets to change the decision-makers, which is not the same thing as making decisions.
    No, it is not. It is a managerial role.

    We, the public, choose who to hire and who to fire.

    They are accountable to us, not the other way round.

    We are their masters. A fact that many of the current lot seem to have forgotten. It is my sincere hope that the whole rotten lot get their P45s at the first possible opportunity.
    We simply don't have the powers you would like us to have, though. A manager has the right to fire immediately for gross incompetence. We have to wait till 2022 unless the very people we would like to fire decide to bring the date forward.
    I agree with you there. The Recall of MPs act should be extended to allow the electorate to start proceedings at any time. To be fair, I would set the threshold for a forced by-election much higher than one in ten, perhaps even as high as 50%. But the point is that we should be able to sack the bastards much sooner. However my original point is still the same, we still have the right to sack the bastards in the end. And thank heavens for that.
  • DecrepitJohnLDecrepitJohnL Posts: 11,559
    The penultimate paragraph is probably right, that in most circumstances voters choose the rosette rather than the candidate. There are exceptions, such as when a man in a white suit stands against a collector of brown envelopes, but they are rare. How could it be otherwise? Voters want to know their MP is sound on sending small boys up chimneys, even if they do harbour doubts about subsidising his duck-houses.

    We like to fool ourselves that we want MPs to show independent judgement but when they do, as on Brexit, we demand their deselection.
  • isamisam Posts: 27,191
    ...
  • williamglennwilliamglenn Posts: 28,775
    kyf_100 said:

    Ishmael_Z said:

    kyf_100 said:

    Ishmael_Z said:

    kyf_100 said:

    Ishmael_Z said:

    kyf_100 said:

    Ishmael_Z said:

    Leave, and Corbyn, are both examples of what you get when you give the public at large the right to make decisions well above their pay grade.

    There is no decision above the pay grade of the electorate. That is what democracy is.
    No, that is what *direct* democracy is, and we don't do direct democracy. The only decision the electorate gets to make (with very rare and unhappy exceptions) is whom to send to the House of Commons. That may or not be a bad thing, but it is the way things are.
    No, that is what democracy is. We elect people. If we feel they have done a bad job, we sack them and get new people who are better able to represent us.

    "Direct" democracy is having a referendum.

    Then actually implementing it.

    What we currently have is a shower of shite who won't implement the result of a referendum. It's now the electorate's job to judge them on that failure.
    Sure. But the public gets to change the decision-makers, which is not the same thing as making decisions.
    No, it is not. It is a managerial role.

    We, the public, choose who to hire and who to fire.

    They are accountable to us, not the other way round.

    We are their masters. A fact that many of the current lot seem to have forgotten. It is my sincere hope that the whole rotten lot get their P45s at the first possible opportunity.
    We simply don't have the powers you would like us to have, though. A manager has the right to fire immediately for gross incompetence. We have to wait till 2022 unless the very people we would like to fire decide to bring the date forward.
    I agree with you there. The Recall of MPs act should be extended to allow the electorate to start proceedings at any time. To be fair, I would set the threshold for a forced by-election much higher than one in ten, perhaps even as high as 50%. But the point is that we should be able to sack the bastards much sooner. However my original point is still the same, we still have the right to sack the bastards in the end. And thank heavens for that.
    Should the revoke Article 50 petition act as a 'recall' of the referendum?
  • Sean_FSean_F Posts: 27,778
    Ishmael_Z said:

    kyf_100 said:

    Ishmael_Z said:

    Leave, and Corbyn, are both examples of what you get when you give the public at large the right to make decisions well above their pay grade.

    There is no decision above the pay grade of the electorate. That is what democracy is.
    No, that is what *direct* democracy is, and we don't do direct democracy. The only decision the electorate gets to make (with very rare and unhappy exceptions) is whom to send to the House of Commons. That may or not be a bad thing, but it is the way things are.
    There is no reason to believe that the average MP is any better at taking decisions than the average voter is.
  • Ishmael_ZIshmael_Z Posts: 7,063

    Ishmael_Z said:

    Ishmael_Z said:

    kyf_100 said:

    Ishmael_Z said:

    kyf_100 said:

    Ishmael_Z said:

    Leave, and Corbyn, are both examples of what you get when you give the public at large the right to make decisions well above their pay grade.

    There is no decision above the pay grade of the electorate. That is what democracy is.
    No, that is what *direct* democracy is, and we don't do direct democracy. The only decision the electorate gets to make (with very rare and unhappy exceptions) is whom to send to the House of Commons. That may or not be a bad thing, but it is the way things are.
    No, that is what democracy is. We elect people. If we feel they have done a bad job, we sack them and get new people who are better able to represent us.

    "Direct" democracy is having a referendum.

    Then actually implementing it.

    What we currently have is a shower of shite who won't implement the result of a referendum. It's now the electorate's job to judge them on that failure.
    Sure. But the public gets to change the decision-makers, which is not the same thing as making decisions.
    1975?
    2011, 2016.
    Should there have been a referendum ("direct democracy" in your words) in 1975? Yes or no?
    No. But in practice it didn't do any harm because the result was maintain the status quo. We should never have had referendums (if we are going to have them at all) without clear rules on how they fit into a representative democracy. The short answer is, they don't.
  • kle4kle4 Posts: 44,622
    isam said:

    ...

    Very good
  • Sean_FSean_F Posts: 27,778
    Ishmael_Z said:

    Ishmael_Z said:

    Ishmael_Z said:

    kyf_100 said:

    Ishmael_Z said:

    kyf_100 said:

    Ishmael_Z said:

    Leave, and Corbyn, are both examples of what you get when you give the public at large the right to make decisions well above their pay grade.

    There is no decision above the pay grade of the electorate. That is what democracy is.
    No, that is what *direct* democracy is, and we don't do direct democracy. The only decision the electorate gets to make (with very rare and unhappy exceptions) is whom to send to the House of Commons. That may or not be a bad thing, but it is the way things are.
    No, that is what democracy is. We elect people. If we feel they have done a bad job, we sack them and get new people who are better able to represent us.

    "Direct" democracy is having a referendum.

    Then actually implementing it.

    What we currently have is a shower of shite who won't implement the result of a referendum. It's now the electorate's job to judge them on that failure.
    Sure. But the public gets to change the decision-makers, which is not the same thing as making decisions.
    1975?
    2011, 2016.
    Should there have been a referendum ("direct democracy" in your words) in 1975? Yes or no?
    No. But in practice it didn't do any harm because the result was maintain the status quo. We should never have had referendums (if we are going to have them at all) without clear rules on how they fit into a representative democracy. The short answer is, they don't.
    In the afterlife, Joseph de Maistre raises a glass to you.
  • Ishmael_ZIshmael_Z Posts: 7,063
    Sean_F said:

    Ishmael_Z said:

    kyf_100 said:

    Ishmael_Z said:

    Leave, and Corbyn, are both examples of what you get when you give the public at large the right to make decisions well above their pay grade.

    There is no decision above the pay grade of the electorate. That is what democracy is.
    No, that is what *direct* democracy is, and we don't do direct democracy. The only decision the electorate gets to make (with very rare and unhappy exceptions) is whom to send to the House of Commons. That may or not be a bad thing, but it is the way things are.
    There is no reason to believe that the average MP is any better at taking decisions than the average voter is.
    That may be true (though I doubt it; I imagine that the average MP beats the average voter on quite a lot of metrics). But if we want direct democracy we need a framework and a theory of how the parts of the machine mesh together. This is presumably achievable - we could have a look at how the Swiss do it, for starters - but until it is done trying to mix two kinds of authority has brought us to where we find ourselves now: up shit creek.
  • another_richardanother_richard Posts: 14,146
    Sean_F said:

    Ishmael_Z said:

    kyf_100 said:

    Ishmael_Z said:

    Leave, and Corbyn, are both examples of what you get when you give the public at large the right to make decisions well above their pay grade.

    There is no decision above the pay grade of the electorate. That is what democracy is.
    No, that is what *direct* democracy is, and we don't do direct democracy. The only decision the electorate gets to make (with very rare and unhappy exceptions) is whom to send to the House of Commons. That may or not be a bad thing, but it is the way things are.
    There is no reason to believe that the average MP is any better at taking decisions than the average voter is.
    Given that the average voter is probably competent at their job its more than possible that MPs would be worse at taking decisions.
  • kyf_100kyf_100 Posts: 1,508

    kyf_100 said:

    Ishmael_Z said:

    kyf_100 said:

    Ishmael_Z said:

    kyf_100 said:

    Ishmael_Z said:



    No, that is what *direct* democracy is, and we don't do direct democracy. The only decision the electorate gets to make (with very rare and unhappy exceptions) is whom to send to the House of Commons. That may or not be a bad thing, but it is the way things are.

    No, that is what democracy is. We elect people. If we feel they have done a bad job, we sack them and get new people who are better able to represent us.

    "Direct" democracy is having a referendum.

    Then actually implementing it.

    What we currently have is a shower of shite who won't implement the result of a referendum. It's now the electorate's job to judge them on that failure.
    Sure. But the public gets to change the decision-makers, which is not the same thing as making decisions.
    No, it is not. It is a managerial role.

    We, the public, choose who to hire and who to fire.

    They are accountable to us, not the other way round.

    We are their masters. A fact that many of the current lot seem to have forgotten. It is my sincere hope that the whole rotten lot get their P45s at the first possible opportunity.
    We simply don't have the powers you would like us to have, though. A manager has the right to fire immediately for gross incompetence. We have to wait till 2022 unless the very people we would like to fire decide to bring the date forward.
    I agree with you there. The Recall of MPs act should be extended to allow the electorate to start proceedings at any time. To be fair, I would set the threshold for a forced by-election much higher than one in ten, perhaps even as high as 50%. But the point is that we should be able to sack the bastards much sooner. However my original point is still the same, we still have the right to sack the bastards in the end. And thank heavens for that.
    Should the revoke Article 50 petition act as a 'recall' of the referendum?
    Yes, absolutely, if it's held under the same conditions. Firstly, you'd need to be reasonably sure that there are no duplicate signatures and secondly you'd need to be reasonably sure that the people signing the petition are eligible to vote. However, even if you assume the 6 or so million who signed that petition all had the right to vote in the 2016 referendum, it's still a long way off the 50% threshold I suggested. But in principle I agree with you absolutely.
  • viewcodeviewcode Posts: 8,796
    nico67 said:

    Isn’t it great to have ten days without Brexit drama .

    We can all recharge our batteries . For political junkies like most in this forum am I the only one who feels a bit exhausted by recent events.

    The last few weeks have been a real rollercoaster .

    Speaking of bold new directions that promised so much but were derailed by people who didn't really know what they were doing and were too [redacted][redacted] to ask, the trailer for Star Wars IX: The Rise of Skywalker is out



    If anybody is still interested in the saga after Rian Johnson fucked it up and in the brief moments before they move the franchise to streaming because they can't give it away in China, please see the derivative meanderings of a once-proud corpse. Fat Old Lando Calrissian is in it. And there's a piece of the Death Star. Palpatine's laugh. And a Tie Interceptor. Yay. All things that are over thirty years old. Ach.
  • kle4kle4 Posts: 44,622
    viewcode said:

    nico67 said:

    Isn’t it great to have ten days without Brexit drama .

    We can all recharge our batteries . For political junkies like most in this forum am I the only one who feels a bit exhausted by recent events.

    The last few weeks have been a real rollercoaster .

    Speaking of bold new directions that promised so much but were derailed by people who didn't really know what they were doing and were too [redacted][redacted] to ask, the trailer for Star Wars IX: The Rise of Skywalker is out



    If anybody is still interested in the saga after Rian Johnson fucked it up and in the brief moments before they move the franchise to streaming because they can't give it away in China, please see the derivative meanderings of a once-proud corpse. Fat Old Lando Calrissian is in it. And there's a piece of the Death Star. Palpatine's laugh. And a Tie Interceptor. Yay. All things that are over thirty years old. Ach.
    And yet Rian Johnson messed it up by setting it up to be able to go in a completely different direction? Right.
  • another_richardanother_richard Posts: 14,146

    Sean_F said:

    Ishmael_Z said:

    kyf_100 said:

    Ishmael_Z said:

    Leave, and Corbyn, are both examples of what you get when you give the public at large the right to make decisions well above their pay grade.

    There is no decision above the pay grade of the electorate. That is what democracy is.
    No, that is what *direct* democracy is, and we don't do direct democracy. The only decision the electorate gets to make (with very rare and unhappy exceptions) is whom to send to the House of Commons. That may or not be a bad thing, but it is the way things are.
    There is no reason to believe that the average MP is any better at taking decisions than the average voter is.
    Given that the average voter is probably competent at their job its more than possible that MPs would be worse at taking decisions.
    I'd be interested to know more about Daniel Kawczynski's decision making process given his shift on the WA:

    https://twitter.com/DKShrewsbury?ref_src=twsrc^google|twcamp^serp|twgr^author

    I do wonder how much thought he put into his actions of a few months ago.
  • saddosaddo Posts: 534

    Anorak said:

    This thread is devastating. Assange is a grade A, copper bottomed c*nt.

    If you are going to have a gatekeeper, you need to keep an eye on the gatekeeper. In the case of Wikileaks, it was clear from the beginning that it was very much about where Assange wanted to focus the truth than on the whole truth.
    No wonder Corbyn and Abbott like him so much. Peas in a pod.
  • kle4kle4 Posts: 44,622
    TGOHF said:
    It's funny that they think they might convince anyone this was not inevitable, and indeed the plan all along, to blame each other for intransigence.
  • glwglw Posts: 5,039

    Anorak said:

    This thread is devastating. Assange is a grade A, copper bottomed c*nt.

    If you are going to have a gatekeeper, you need to keep an eye on the gatekeeper. In the case of Wikileaks, it was clear from the beginning that it was very much about where Assange wanted to focus the truth than on the whole truth.
    Wikileaks did start as a clearing house for whistleblowers, but somewhere along the way it became, wittingly or not, an outlet for disinformation and propaganda. The actual mainstream media, like for example the Guardian, tends to be a lot more careful than the alternative media about who they work with.
  • TGOHFTGOHF Posts: 20,607
    Europhile loon Starmer wants to block a deal - blocking democracy- what a nut job gammon etc.
  • Harris_TweedHarris_Tweed Posts: 756
    Ishmael_Z said:

    kyf_100 said:

    Ishmael_Z said:

    kyf_100 said:

    Ishmael_Z said:

    kyf_100 said:

    Ishmael_Z said:

    Leave, and Corbyn, are both examples of what you get when you give the public at large the right to make decisions well above their pay grade.

    There is no decision above the pay grade of the electorate. That is what democracy is.
    No, that is what *direct* democracy is, and we don't do direct democracy. The only decision the electorate gets to make (with very rare and unhappy exceptions) is whom to send to the House of Commons. That may or not be a bad thing, but it is the way things are.
    No, that is what democracy is. We elect people. If we feel they have done a bad job, we sack them and get new people who are better able to represent us.

    "Direct" democracy is having a referendum.

    Then actually implementing it.

    What we currently have is a shower of shite who won't implement the result of a referendum. It's now the electorate's job to judge them on that failure.
    Sure. But the public gets to change the decision-makers, which is not the same thing as making decisions.
    No, it is not. It is a managerial role.

    We, the public, choose who to hire and who to fire.

    They are accountable to us, not the other way round.

    We are their masters. A fact that many of the current lot seem to have forgotten. It is my sincere hope that the whole rotten lot get their P45s at the first possible opportunity.
    We simply don't have the powers you would like us to have, though. A manager has the right to fire immediately for gross incompetence. We have to wait till 2022 unless the very people we would like to fire decide to bring the date forward.
    Feels to me like the analogy is public as shareholders, MPs as non-exec directors and the cabinet/PM as the execs/CEO.

    Shareholders do have ultimate power, but only generally at the AGM by hiring the bosses. (And then CEO Cameron goes and calls an EGM for a vote on closing the European office). Generally, they don’t decide on the detail of branch closures and special offers.

    Anyway.. thanks to Mike for publishing my musings, and to all of you for joining in.
  • Ishmael_ZIshmael_Z Posts: 7,063
    Sean_F said:

    Ishmael_Z said:

    Ishmael_Z said:

    Ishmael_Z said:

    kyf_100 said:

    Ishmael_Z said:

    kyf_100 said:

    Ishmael_Z said:

    Leave, and Corbyn, are both examples of what you get when you give the public at large the right to make decisions well above their pay grade.

    There is no decision above the pay grade of the electorate. That is what democracy is.
    No, that is what *direct* democracy is, and we don't do direct democracy. The only decision the electorate gets to make (with very rare and unhappy exceptions) is whom to send to the House of Commons. That may or not be a bad thing, but it is the way things are.
    No, that is what democracy is. We elect people. If we feel they have done a bad job, we sack them and get new people who are better able to represent us.

    "Direct" democracy is having a referendum.

    Then actually implementing it.

    What we currently have is a shower of shite who won't implement the result of a referendum. It's now the electorate's job to judge them on that failure.
    Sure. But the public gets to change the decision-makers, which is not the same thing as making decisions.
    1975?
    2011, 2016.
    Should there have been a referendum ("direct democracy" in your words) in 1975? Yes or no?
    No. But in practice it didn't do any harm because the result was maintain the status quo. We should never have had referendums (if we are going to have them at all) without clear rules on how they fit into a representative democracy. The short answer is, they don't.
    In the afterlife, Joseph de Maistre raises a glass to you.
    I am just telling it the way it is. The set up we have is so far removed from what the Greeks, who invented it, had that they would not call our constitution a democracy at all. It is an oligarchy in which the public very infrequently gets to say which set of oligarchs it prefers.
  • justin124justin124 Posts: 7,232
    I enjoyed the article and agreed with most of it. However, 'the disconnect between Westminster and the voters' in some ways is nothing new - indeed was it ever thus? When I think of MPs from the pre-war period - indeed as recently as the 1960s and 1970s - I am struck by how much more remote they were from their constituents than is the case today. Many failed to hold surgeries at all and quite a few rarely set foot in their constituencies from one year to the next. Yet paradoxically , there was little evidence that electors felt particularly neglected or ignored by their MPs - indeed they were held in much greater esteem than their present day successors. I doubt very much that Asquith, Baldwin, Chamberlain, Churchill or Attlee et al spent much time attending to the particular concerns of their local constituents - yet few seemed to care!
  • mattmatt Posts: 2,933

    India's largest privately-owned airline, Jet Airways, in trouble:

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-47905089

    It’s been “in trouble” for 18 months. The only surprise is that cliff has been reached before the end of the elections. If I were a lessor, I’d have repoed a year ago. Mind you, one can make the same argument about HNA and it goes on.
  • viewcodeviewcode Posts: 8,796
    kle4 said:

    viewcode said:

    nico67 said:

    Isn’t it great to have ten days without Brexit drama .

    We can all recharge our batteries . For political junkies like most in this forum am I the only one who feels a bit exhausted by recent events.

    The last few weeks have been a real rollercoaster .

    Speaking of bold new directions that promised so much but were derailed by people who didn't really know what they were doing and were too [redacted][redacted] to ask, the trailer for Star Wars IX: The Rise of Skywalker is out



    If anybody is still interested in the saga after Rian Johnson fucked it up and in the brief moments before they move the franchise to streaming because they can't give it away in China, please see the derivative meanderings of a once-proud corpse. Fat Old Lando Calrissian is in it. And there's a piece of the Death Star. Palpatine's laugh. And a Tie Interceptor. Yay. All things that are over thirty years old. Ach.
    And yet Rian Johnson messed it up by setting it up to be able to go in a completely different direction? Right.
    Which would be a good point except that he walked it back in the last third. Jedi are obsolete...but make Luke the protagonist in the end. Sides are irrelevant...but everybody took sides in the end. Leia sucked out...but force-flies back. The Last Jedi was a journey to nowhere. Stuff happened, and at the end we were still in the same thematic place. The film that should have built up momentum for part IX just dissipated the energy of part VII.
  • mattmatt Posts: 2,933
    Sean_F said:

    Ishmael_Z said:

    kyf_100 said:

    Ishmael_Z said:

    Leave, and Corbyn, are both examples of what you get when you give the public at large the right to make decisions well above their pay grade.

    There is no decision above the pay grade of the electorate. That is what democracy is.
    No, that is what *direct* democracy is, and we don't do direct democracy. The only decision the electorate gets to make (with very rare and unhappy exceptions) is whom to send to the House of Commons. That may or not be a bad thing, but it is the way things are.
    There is no reason to believe that the average MP is any better at taking decisions than the average voter is.
    Less I’d suggest. An inverse correlation between a desire to have the role and the ability to fulfil that role effectively.
  • Harris_TweedHarris_Tweed Posts: 756

    Sean_F said:

    Ishmael_Z said:

    kyf_100 said:

    Ishmael_Z said:

    Leave, and Corbyn, are both examples of what you get when you give the public at large the right to make decisions well above their pay grade.

    There is no decision above the pay grade of the electorate. That is what democracy is.
    No, that is what *direct* democracy is, and we don't do direct democracy. The only decision the electorate gets to make (with very rare and unhappy exceptions) is whom to send to the House of Commons. That may or not be a bad thing, but it is the way things are.
    There is no reason to believe that the average MP is any better at taking decisions than the average voter is.
    Given that the average voter is probably competent at their job its more than possible that MPs would be worse at taking decisions.
    I'd be interested to know more about Daniel Kawczynski's decision making process given his shift on the WA:

    https://twitter.com/DKShrewsbury?ref_src=twsrc^google|twcamp^serp|twgr^author

    I do wonder how much thought he put into his actions of a few months ago.
    Read a Daily Express editorial; chat with OPatz at their monthly neighbours’ meeting; listen to JRM on the news.

    Despite claims Tory associations are apoplectic at the govt, I wonder how many have been leaning on people like DK to wind their necks in to get Brexit over the line.
  • kle4kle4 Posts: 44,622
    viewcode said:

    kle4 said:

    viewcode said:

    nico67 said:

    Isn’t it great to have ten days without Brexit drama .

    We can all recharge our batteries . For political junkies like most in this forum am I the only one who feels a bit exhausted by recent events.

    The last few weeks have been a real rollercoaster .

    Speaking of bold new directions that promised so much but were derailed by people who didn't really know what they were doing and were too [redacted][redacted] to ask, the trailer for Star Wars IX: The Rise of Skywalker is out



    If anybody is still interested in the saga after Rian Johnson fucked it up and in the brief moments before they move the franchise to streaming because they can't give it away in China, please see the derivative meanderings of a once-proud corpse. Fat Old Lando Calrissian is in it. And there's a piece of the Death Star. Palpatine's laugh. And a Tie Interceptor. Yay. All things that are over thirty years old. Ach.
    And yet Rian Johnson messed it up by setting it up to be able to go in a completely different direction? Right.
    The Last Jedi was a journey to nowhere. Stuff happened, and at the end we were still in the same thematic place.
    I like it precisely because I think the opposite is the case. It looks, however, like in order to placate fanboys episode 9 really will be back in the same thematic place.
  • mattmatt Posts: 2,933
    justin124 said:

    I enjoyed the article and agreed with most of it. However, 'the disconnect between Westminster and the voters' in some ways is nothing new - indeed was it ever thus? When I think of MPs from the pre-war period - indeed as recently as the 1960s and 1970s - I am struck by how much more remote they were from their constituents than is the case today. Many failed to hold surgeries at all and quite a few rarely set foot in their constituencies from one year to the next. Yet paradoxically , there was little evidence that electors felt particularly neglected or ignored by their MPs - indeed they were held in much greater esteem than their present day successors. I doubt very much that Asquith, Baldwin, Chamberlain, Churchill or Attlee et al spent much time attending to the particular concerns of their local constituents - yet few seemed to care!

    The 1960s were not recent, they were nearly 50 years ago. If you think that’s recent you really need to recalibrate your thinking.
  • DruttDrutt Posts: 407
    nunuone said:

    Remain politicians would do well to take the Brexit Party seriously.

    If the threat posed by UKIP had been taken a bit more seriously by Cameron back in 2013, who knows what might of happened. (Or not happened).

    UKIP might well have been mainly clowns but what they represented had much broader support than the people who led UKIP at the time.

    Decrying the Moggs et al as posh twats isn't really addressing the issue.

    Brexit party most euro elex seats is 7/4, in from 11/4 this time yesterday.
  • Ishmael_ZIshmael_Z Posts: 7,063
    matt said:

    Sean_F said:

    Ishmael_Z said:

    kyf_100 said:

    Ishmael_Z said:

    Leave, and Corbyn, are both examples of what you get when you give the public at large the right to make decisions well above their pay grade.

    There is no decision above the pay grade of the electorate. That is what democracy is.
    No, that is what *direct* democracy is, and we don't do direct democracy. The only decision the electorate gets to make (with very rare and unhappy exceptions) is whom to send to the House of Commons. That may or not be a bad thing, but it is the way things are.
    There is no reason to believe that the average MP is any better at taking decisions than the average voter is.
    Less I’d suggest. An inverse correlation between a desire to have the role and the ability to fulfil that role effectively.
    Would you like referendums on, say, whether we should remain a nuclear power? Go to war with Iraq? Reintroduce hanging? I wouldn't.
  • Sunil_PrasannanSunil_Prasannan Posts: 30,422
    kle4 said:

    viewcode said:

    nico67 said:

    Isn’t it great to have ten days without Brexit drama .

    We can all recharge our batteries . For political junkies like most in this forum am I the only one who feels a bit exhausted by recent events.

    The last few weeks have been a real rollercoaster .

    Speaking of bold new directions that promised so much but were derailed by people who didn't really know what they were doing and were too [redacted][redacted] to ask, the trailer for Star Wars IX: The Rise of Skywalker is out



    If anybody is still interested in the saga after Rian Johnson fucked it up and in the brief moments before they move the franchise to streaming because they can't give it away in China, please see the derivative meanderings of a once-proud corpse. Fat Old Lando Calrissian is in it. And there's a piece of the Death Star. Palpatine's laugh. And a Tie Interceptor. Yay. All things that are over thirty years old. Ach.
    And yet Rian Johnson messed it up by setting it up to be able to go in a completely different direction? Right.
    He killed off Snoke for no reason.
  • Ishmael_ZIshmael_Z Posts: 7,063

    Ishmael_Z said:

    kyf_100 said:

    Ishmael_Z said:

    kyf_100 said:

    Ishmael_Z said:

    kyf_100 said:

    Ishmael_Z said:

    Leave, and Corbyn, are both examples of what you get when you give the public at large the right to make decisions well above their pay grade.

    There is no decision above the pay grade of the electorate. That is what democracy is.
    No, that is what *direct* democracy is, and we don't do direct democracy. The only decision the electorate gets to make (with very rare and unhappy exceptions) is whom to send to the House of Commons. That may or not be a bad thing, but it is the way things are.
    No, that is what democracy is. We elect people. If we feel they have done a bad job, we sack them and get new people who are better able to represent us.

    "Direct" democracy is having a referendum.

    Then actually implementing it.

    What we currently have is a shower of shite who won't implement the result of a referendum. It's now the electorate's job to judge them on that failure.
    Sure. But the public gets to change the decision-makers, which is not the same thing as making decisions.
    No, it is not. It is a managerial role.

    We, the public, choose who to hire and who to fire.

    They are accountable to us, not the other way round.

    We are their masters. A fact that many of the current lot seem to have forgotten. It is my sincere hope that the whole rotten lot get their P45s at the first possible opportunity.
    We simply don't have the powers you would like us to have, though. A manager has the right to fire immediately for gross incompetence. We have to wait till 2022 unless the very people we would like to fire decide to bring the date forward.
    Feels to me like the analogy is public as shareholders, MPs as non-exec directors and the cabinet/PM as the execs/CEO.

    Shareholders do have ultimate power, but only generally at the AGM by hiring the bosses. (And then CEO Cameron goes and calls an EGM for a vote on closing the European office). Generally, they don’t decide on the detail of branch closures and special offers.

    Anyway.. thanks to Mike for publishing my musings, and to all of you for joining in.
    And thank you. Very interesting piece.
  • another_richardanother_richard Posts: 14,146

    Sean_F said:

    Ishmael_Z said:

    kyf_100 said:

    Ishmael_Z said:

    Leave, and Corbyn, are both examples of what you get when you give the public at large the right to make decisions well above their pay grade.

    There is no decision above the pay grade of the electorate. That is what democracy is.
    No, that is what *direct* democracy is, and we don't do direct democracy. The only decision the electorate gets to make (with very rare and unhappy exceptions) is whom to send to the House of Commons. That may or not be a bad thing, but it is the way things are.
    There is no reason to believe that the average MP is any better at taking decisions than the average voter is.
    Given that the average voter is probably competent at their job its more than possible that MPs would be worse at taking decisions.
    I'd be interested to know more about Daniel Kawczynski's decision making process given his shift on the WA:

    https://twitter.com/DKShrewsbury?ref_src=twsrc^google|twcamp^serp|twgr^author

    I do wonder how much thought he put into his actions of a few months ago.
    Read a Daily Express editorial; chat with OPatz at their monthly neighbours’ meeting; listen to JRM on the news.

    And looked through his twatter feed.

    Despite claims Tory associations are apoplectic at the govt, I wonder how many have been leaning on people like DK to wind their necks in to get Brexit over the line.
    I've added a line.
  • justin124justin124 Posts: 7,232
    matt said:

    justin124 said:

    I enjoyed the article and agreed with most of it. However, 'the disconnect between Westminster and the voters' in some ways is nothing new - indeed was it ever thus? When I think of MPs from the pre-war period - indeed as recently as the 1960s and 1970s - I am struck by how much more remote they were from their constituents than is the case today. Many failed to hold surgeries at all and quite a few rarely set foot in their constituencies from one year to the next. Yet paradoxically , there was little evidence that electors felt particularly neglected or ignored by their MPs - indeed they were held in much greater esteem than their present day successors. I doubt very much that Asquith, Baldwin, Chamberlain, Churchill or Attlee et al spent much time attending to the particular concerns of their local constituents - yet few seemed to care!

    The 1960s were not recent, they were nearly 50 years ago. If you think that’s recent you really need to recalibrate your thinking.
    The passage of time - at the end of the day - comes back to personal perception and experience. It is all relative - though I have to say -as someone a few months short of 65 - that to me Harold Wilson and Ted Heath are but 'a few years ago'.
  • IanB2IanB2 Posts: 18,602
    It's the voting system. Mostly.
  • mattmatt Posts: 2,933
    Ishmael_Z said:

    matt said:

    Sean_F said:

    Ishmael_Z said:

    kyf_100 said:

    Ishmael_Z said:

    Leave, and Corbyn, are both examples of what you get when you give the public at large the right to make decisions well above their pay grade.

    There is no decision above the pay grade of the electorate. That is what democracy is.
    No, that is what *direct* democracy is, and we don't do direct democracy. The only decision the electorate gets to make (with very rare and unhappy exceptions) is whom to send to the House of Commons. That may or not be a bad thing, but it is the way things are.
    There is no reason to believe that the average MP is any better at taking decisions than the average voter is.
    Less I’d suggest. An inverse correlation between a desire to have the role and the ability to fulfil that role effectively.
    Would you like referendums on, say, whether we should remain a nuclear power? Go to war with Iraq? Reintroduce hanging? I wouldn't.
    I’m sorry, where did I say that I thought referendums were a good thing?
  • Ishmael_ZIshmael_Z Posts: 7,063
    matt said:

    Ishmael_Z said:

    matt said:

    Sean_F said:

    Ishmael_Z said:

    kyf_100 said:

    Ishmael_Z said:

    Leave, and Corbyn, are both examples of what you get when you give the public at large the right to make decisions well above their pay grade.

    There is no decision above the pay grade of the electorate. That is what democracy is.
    No, that is what *direct* democracy is, and we don't do direct democracy. The only decision the electorate gets to make (with very rare and unhappy exceptions) is whom to send to the House of Commons. That may or not be a bad thing, but it is the way things are.
    There is no reason to believe that the average MP is any better at taking decisions than the average voter is.
    Less I’d suggest. An inverse correlation between a desire to have the role and the ability to fulfil that role effectively.
    Would you like referendums on, say, whether we should remain a nuclear power? Go to war with Iraq? Reintroduce hanging? I wouldn't.
    I’m sorry, where did I say that I thought referendums were a good thing?
    Seems the natural inference to draw if you think voters make better decisions than MPs do.
  • Harris_TweedHarris_Tweed Posts: 756
    justin124 said:

    I enjoyed the article and agreed with most of it. However, 'the disconnect between Westminster and the voters' in some ways is nothing new - indeed was it ever thus? When I think of MPs from the pre-war period - indeed as recently as the 1960s and 1970s - I am struck by how much more remote they were from their constituents than is the case today. Many failed to hold surgeries at all and quite a few rarely set foot in their constituencies from one year to the next. Yet paradoxically , there was little evidence that electors felt particularly neglected or ignored by their MPs - indeed they were held in much greater esteem than their present day successors. I doubt very much that Asquith, Baldwin, Chamberlain, Churchill or Attlee et al spent much time attending to the particular concerns of their local constituents - yet few seemed to care!

    I think it comes down to the death of deference and greater accessibility.

    That’s generally a good thing IMO. But it does mean today’s voters expect their MP to do their personal bidding, rather than send someone to London to run the country for five years.

    Perhaps “disconnect” was the wrong word, but we’ve moved from an era where voters were remote and not bothered. to where they know and expect more but are invariably disappointed.
  • Sunil_PrasannanSunil_Prasannan Posts: 30,422
    Ishmael_Z said:

    matt said:

    Ishmael_Z said:

    matt said:

    Sean_F said:

    Ishmael_Z said:

    kyf_100 said:

    Ishmael_Z said:

    Leave, and Corbyn, are both examples of what you get when you give the public at large the right to make decisions well above their pay grade.

    There is no decision above the pay grade of the electorate. That is what democracy is.
    No, that is what *direct* democracy is, and we don't do direct democracy. The only decision the electorate gets to make (with very rare and unhappy exceptions) is whom to send to the House of Commons. That may or not be a bad thing, but it is the way things are.
    There is no reason to believe that the average MP is any better at taking decisions than the average voter is.
    Less I’d suggest. An inverse correlation between a desire to have the role and the ability to fulfil that role effectively.
    Would you like referendums on, say, whether we should remain a nuclear power? Go to war with Iraq? Reintroduce hanging? I wouldn't.
    I’m sorry, where did I say that I thought referendums were a good thing?
    Seems the natural inference to draw if you think voters make better decisions than MPs do.
    MPs haven't chosen what to do about Brexit!
  • another_richardanother_richard Posts: 14,146

    justin124 said:

    I enjoyed the article and agreed with most of it. However, 'the disconnect between Westminster and the voters' in some ways is nothing new - indeed was it ever thus? When I think of MPs from the pre-war period - indeed as recently as the 1960s and 1970s - I am struck by how much more remote they were from their constituents than is the case today. Many failed to hold surgeries at all and quite a few rarely set foot in their constituencies from one year to the next. Yet paradoxically , there was little evidence that electors felt particularly neglected or ignored by their MPs - indeed they were held in much greater esteem than their present day successors. I doubt very much that Asquith, Baldwin, Chamberlain, Churchill or Attlee et al spent much time attending to the particular concerns of their local constituents - yet few seemed to care!

    I think it comes down to the death of deference and greater accessibility.

    That’s generally a good thing IMO. But it does mean today’s voters expect their MP to do their personal bidding, rather than send someone to London to run the country for five years.

    Perhaps “disconnect” was the wrong word, but we’ve moved from an era where voters were remote and not bothered. to where they know and expect more but are invariably disappointed.
    The greater media accessibility we now have makes it more obvious when a politician is a moron.

    And thanks for the article.
  • MangoMango Posts: 57
    IanB2 said:

    It's the voting system. Mostly.

    The root of all evil. The Brexit idiocy is merely symptomatic.
  • AnorakAnorak Posts: 5,850
    edited April 12
    viewcode said:

    nico67 said:

    Isn’t it great to have ten days without Brexit drama .

    We can all recharge our batteries . For political junkies like most in this forum am I the only one who feels a bit exhausted by recent events.

    The last few weeks have been a real rollercoaster .

    Speaking of bold new directions that promised so much but were derailed by people who didn't really know what they were doing and were too [redacted][redacted] to ask, the trailer for Star Wars IX: The Rise of Skywalker is out



    If anybody is still interested in the saga after Rian Johnson fucked it up and in the brief moments before they move the franchise to streaming because they can't give it away in China, please see the derivative meanderings of a once-proud corpse. Fat Old Lando Calrissian is in it. And there's a piece of the Death Star. Palpatine's laugh. And a Tie Interceptor. Yay. All things that are over thirty years old. Ach.
    Rogue One was a solid film with a wonderfully un-starwarsy ending (and all the better for it). As with the second trilogy, the first was the worst in the third trilogy. All is not lost.

    Keep the faith, my young Padawan.
  • Harris_TweedHarris_Tweed Posts: 756
    By the way.. if you’re wondering about the “adultier adults” reference at the foot of the thread header.. Mike rightly excised on copyright grounds my earlier inclusion of the meme linked here, which I suggested matches our historic assumption that MPs knew what they were doing ;)

    http://randomthoughtsnrb.blogspot.com/2017/01/we-need-adultier-adults.html?m=1
  • kyf_100kyf_100 Posts: 1,508
    IanB2 said:

    It's the voting system. Mostly.

    What we have is a voting system that gives some MPs a job for life, with little to no way of removing them.

    It's an interesting question to wonder whether or not people would have voted for Brexit if they felt they could have changed their MP. If they felt that anyone was listening.
  • justin124justin124 Posts: 7,232

    justin124 said:

    I enjoyed the article and agreed with most of it. However, 'the disconnect between Westminster and the voters' in some ways is nothing new - indeed was it ever thus? When I think of MPs from the pre-war period - indeed as recently as the 1960s and 1970s - I am struck by how much more remote they were from their constituents than is the case today. Many failed to hold surgeries at all and quite a few rarely set foot in their constituencies from one year to the next. Yet paradoxically , there was little evidence that electors felt particularly neglected or ignored by their MPs - indeed they were held in much greater esteem than their present day successors. I doubt very much that Asquith, Baldwin, Chamberlain, Churchill or Attlee et al spent much time attending to the particular concerns of their local constituents - yet few seemed to care!

    I think it comes down to the death of deference and greater accessibility.

    That’s generally a good thing IMO. But it does mean today’s voters expect their MP to do their personal bidding, rather than send someone to London to run the country for five years.

    Perhaps “disconnect” was the wrong word, but we’ve moved from an era where voters were remote and not bothered. to where they know and expect more but are invariably disappointed.
    I totally agree - we now expect far too much of our MPs in terms of casework and insist that they effectively act as social workers. As a result, they no longer have the time to think in depth and to contemplate the wider national implications of policy decisions.
  • Scott_PScott_P Posts: 46,486
    Anorak said:

    Rogue One was a solid film with a wonderfully un-starwarsy ending

    Only after a total reshoot
  • AnorakAnorak Posts: 5,850
    Scott_P said:

    Anorak said:

    Rogue One was a solid film with a wonderfully un-starwarsy ending

    Only after a total reshoot
    Really? Anyway: pff, details...
  • Harris_TweedHarris_Tweed Posts: 756
    justin124 said:

    justin124 said:

    I enjoyed the article and agreed with most of it. However, 'the disconnect between Westminster and the voters' in some ways is nothing new - indeed was it ever thus? When I think of MPs from the pre-war period - indeed as recently as the 1960s and 1970s - I am struck by how much more remote they were from their constituents than is the case today. Many failed to hold surgeries at all and quite a few rarely set foot in their constituencies from one year to the next. Yet paradoxically , there was little evidence that electors felt particularly neglected or ignored by their MPs - indeed they were held in much greater esteem than their present day successors. I doubt very much that Asquith, Baldwin, Chamberlain, Churchill or Attlee et al spent much time attending to the particular concerns of their local constituents - yet few seemed to care!

    I think it comes down to the death of deference and greater accessibility.

    That’s generally a good thing IMO. But it does mean today’s voters expect their MP to do their personal bidding, rather than send someone to London to run the country for five years.

    Perhaps “disconnect” was the wrong word, but we’ve moved from an era where voters were remote and not bothered. to where they know and expect more but are invariably disappointed.
    I totally agree - we now expect far too much of our MPs in terms of casework and insist that they effectively act as social workers. As a result, they no longer have the time to think in depth and to contemplate the wider national implications of policy decisions.
    I think there’s some chicken and egg involved somewhere down the line, too. I bet many of them do that stuff to show they have their uses, while The System has turned them into numbers in the lobby and purveyors of Lines To Take on the local news!
  • DadgeDadge Posts: 1,616
    justin124 said:

    justin124 said:

    I enjoyed the article and agreed with most of it. However, 'the disconnect between Westminster and the voters' in some ways is nothing new - indeed was it ever thus? When I think of MPs from the pre-war period - indeed as recently as the 1960s and 1970s - I am struck by how much more remote they were from their constituents than is the case today. Many failed to hold surgeries at all and quite a few rarely set foot in their constituencies from one year to the next. Yet paradoxically , there was little evidence that electors felt particularly neglected or ignored by their MPs - indeed they were held in much greater esteem than their present day successors. I doubt very much that Asquith, Baldwin, Chamberlain, Churchill or Attlee et al spent much time attending to the particular concerns of their local constituents - yet few seemed to care!

    I think it comes down to the death of deference and greater accessibility.

    That’s generally a good thing IMO. But it does mean today’s voters expect their MP to do their personal bidding, rather than send someone to London to run the country for five years.

    Perhaps “disconnect” was the wrong word, but we’ve moved from an era where voters were remote and not bothered. to where they know and expect more but are invariably disappointed.
    I totally agree - we now expect far too much of our MPs in terms of casework and insist that they effectively act as social workers. As a result, they no longer have the time to think in depth and to contemplate the wider national implications of policy decisions.
    They ought to have paid assistants to do 95% of the casework, leaving them the few cases that need contact with ministers. Sometimes when I say that there should be fewer MPs (maybe around 520) some people complain "what about the casework", but MPs' job is really decision-making, and it doesn't take 650 of them to make decisions.
  • Scott_PScott_P Posts: 46,486
    Anorak said:

    Really? Anyway: pff, details...

    Watch the trailer.

    Almost none of it appears in the final cut, and it includes a very different ending
  • glwglw Posts: 5,039

    The greater media accessibility we now have makes it more obvious when a politician is a moron.

    And thanks for the article.

    A couple of decades ago if you wanted to fact check a politician, or see what they said last week/month/year, it took time and expertise. In 2019 essentially everybody can catch the blighters out with little effort by using a search engine.

    A good example from yesterday: Trump says "Wikileaks is not my thing", and within minutes people are posting clips of him talking about Wikileaks. Trump mentioned Wikileaks 141 times in public alone in the month before the 2016 election.

    The mystique that politicians are particularly smart, well informed, thoughtful and so on has been blown away. We can see what they are really like, and we don't like it.
  • MyBurningEarsMyBurningEars Posts: 2,971
    edited April 12
    Mango said:

    IanB2 said:

    It's the voting system. Mostly.

    The root of all evil. The Brexit idiocy is merely symptomatic.
    Much as I would prefer multi-member (roughly county or small city sized) STV to our current system, I don't think it would improve the quality either of the candidates or those ultimately elected.

    To the extent that the current system at least lets us choose the more competent-looking individual rather than the rosette whose colour we prefer - albeit that is a choice not many of decide to take - it's arguable that the current system has better filters on the individual candidates than PR-like alternatives where you're faced with a choice between party lists only. (Also local party associations may have some role to play in the matter - I am concerned that when candidates are selected for a list-based system, that will usually be done centrally, by committee, and with particular emphasis on who's more likely to toe the line. People good at manipulating themselves to first on the list, either by just hanging round long enough to gain precedence or by years of strategic schmoozing with potential future members of the relevant selection committee, still has a job for life.)

    Weakening the local link might not help much with the sense of disconnect either.
  • DadgeDadge Posts: 1,616
    kyf_100 said:

    IanB2 said:

    It's the voting system. Mostly.

    What we have is a voting system that gives some MPs a job for life, with little to no way of removing them.

    It's an interesting question to wonder whether or not people would have voted for Brexit if they felt they could have changed their MP. If they felt that anyone was listening.
    Indeed. Because of our democratic deficit, people take whatever opportunities that are available to voice an opinion on the question they wish was being asked, rather than the one that is actually being asked. Hence local election results swing in line with national polling. And Cameron's leadership of the Remain campaign led a good many Labour supporters to vote for Leave.
  • AnorakAnorak Posts: 5,850
    Scott_P said:

    Anorak said:

    Really? Anyway: pff, details...

    Watch the trailer.

    Almost none of it appears in the final cut, and it includes a very different ending
    I've been googling - interesting. Thank goodness someone realised it needed an axe taking to the original cut.
  • kyf_100kyf_100 Posts: 1,508
    Dadge said:

    justin124 said:

    justin124 said:

    I enjoyed the article and agreed with most of it. However, 'the disconnect between Westminster and the voters' in some ways is nothing new - indeed was it ever thus? When I think of MPs from the pre-war period - indeed as recently as the 1960s and 1970s - I am struck by how much more remote they were from their constituents than is the case today. Many failed to hold surgeries at all and quite a few rarely set foot in their constituencies from one year to the next. Yet paradoxically , there was little evidence that electors felt particularly neglected or ignored by their MPs - indeed they were held in much greater esteem than their present day successors. I doubt very much that Asquith, Baldwin, Chamberlain, Churchill or Attlee et al spent much time attending to the particular concerns of their local constituents - yet few seemed to care!

    I think it comes down to the death of deference and greater accessibility.

    That’s generally a good thing IMO. But it does mean today’s voters expect their MP to do their personal bidding, rather than send someone to London to run the country for five years.

    Perhaps “disconnect” was the wrong word, but we’ve moved from an era where voters were remote and not bothered. to where they know and expect more but are invariably disappointed.
    I totally agree - we now expect far too much of our MPs in terms of casework and insist that they effectively act as social workers. As a result, they no longer have the time to think in depth and to contemplate the wider national implications of policy decisions.
    They ought to have paid assistants to do 95% of the casework, leaving them the few cases that need contact with ministers. Sometimes when I say that there should be fewer MPs (maybe around 520) some people complain "what about the casework", but MPs' job is really decision-making, and it doesn't take 650 of them to make decisions.
    Question: If we replaced the current system of voting for 650 MPs with a lottery or Jury duty based system whereby 650 people are selected at random to make decisions for five years, would it be a better or worse system than we have now?

    How many people would agree with the statement that yes, it would be a better system? Would more people agree with the statement now than would have agreed ten years ago? Twenty years ago? If so, why?

    Are our politicians no longer up to the job, or as glw states below, is it simply a lot easier to catch them out these days as being no better or wiser than the rest of us?
  • justin124justin124 Posts: 7,232
    Dadge said:

    justin124 said:

    justin124 said:

    I enjoyed the article and agreed with most of it. However, 'the disconnect between Westminster and the voters' in some ways is nothing new - indeed was it ever thus? When I think of MPs from the pre-war period - indeed as recently as the 1960s and 1970s - I am struck by how much more remote they were from their constituents than is the case today. Many failed to hold surgeries at all and quite a few rarely set foot in their constituencies from one year to the next. Yet paradoxically , there was little evidence that electors felt particularly neglected or ignored by their MPs - indeed they were held in much greater esteem than their present day successors. I doubt very much that Asquith, Baldwin, Chamberlain, Churchill or Attlee et al spent much time attending to the particular concerns of their local constituents - yet few seemed to care!

    I think it comes down to the death of deference and greater accessibility.

    That’s generally a good thing IMO. But it does mean today’s voters expect their MP to do their personal bidding, rather than send someone to London to run the country for five years.

    Perhaps “disconnect” was the wrong word, but we’ve moved from an era where voters were remote and not bothered. to where they know and expect more but are invariably disappointed.
    I totally agree - we now expect far too much of our MPs in terms of casework and insist that they effectively act as social workers. As a result, they no longer have the time to think in depth and to contemplate the wider national implications of policy decisions.
    They ought to have paid assistants to do 95% of the casework, leaving them the few cases that need contact with ministers. Sometimes when I say that there should be fewer MPs (maybe around 520) some people complain "what about the casework", but MPs' job is really decision-making, and it doesn't take 650 of them to make decisions.
    MPs today have far more resources available to them than their predecessors, but it is far from clear that this matches the greater demands and expectations of them.
  • Harris_TweedHarris_Tweed Posts: 756
    Dadge said:

    justin124 said:

    justin124 said:

    I enjoyed the article and agreed with most of it. However, 'the disconnect between Westminster and the voters' in some ways is nothing new - indeed was it ever thus? When I think of MPs from the pre-war period - indeed as recently as the 1960s and 1970s - I am struck by how much more remote they were from their constituents than is the case today. Many failed to hold surgeries at all and quite a few rarely set foot in their constituencies from one year to the next. Yet paradoxically , there was little evidence that electors felt particularly neglected or ignored by their MPs - indeed they were held in much greater esteem than their present day successors. I doubt very much that Asquith, Baldwin, Chamberlain, Churchill or Attlee et al spent much time attending to the particular concerns of their local constituents - yet few seemed to care!

    I think it comes down to the death of deference and greater accessibility.

    That’s generally a good thing IMO. But it does mean today’s voters expect their MP to do their personal bidding, rather than send someone to London to run the country for five years.

    Perhaps “disconnect” was the wrong word, but we’ve moved from an era where voters were remote and not bothered. to where they know and expect more but are invariably disappointed.
    I totally agree - we now expect far too much of our MPs in terms of casework and insist that they effectively act as social workers. As a result, they no longer have the time to think in depth and to contemplate the wider national implications of policy decisions.
    They ought to have paid assistants to do 95% of the casework, leaving them the few cases that need contact with ministers. Sometimes when I say that there should be fewer MPs (maybe around 520) some people complain "what about the casework", but MPs' job is really decision-making, and it doesn't take 650 of them to make decisions.
    It would be an interesting debating point to slash the number of MPs.. even down to, say, a couple of hundred.. representing c. half a million each (possibly a county or borough each) to actually make the decisions. But whether through higher money or genuine notability attracting better people, you aim to get serious people rather than Mark Francois. And then you back them with a proper staff to ‘do local’. Lots of cons (not least each idiot who does slip through having a far bigger say), but it’s an alternative system with some pros too.
  • Harris_TweedHarris_Tweed Posts: 756
    kyf_100 said:

    Dadge said:

    justin124 said:

    justin124 said:

    I enjoyed the article and agreed with most of it. However, 'the disconnect between Westminster and the voters' in some ways is nothing new - indeed was it ever thus? When I think of MPs from the pre-war period - indeed as recently as the 1960s and 1970s - I am struck by how much more remote they were from their constituents than is the case today. Many failed to hold surgeries at all and quite a few rarely set foot in their constituencies from one year to the next. Yet paradoxically , there was little evidence that electors felt particularly neglected or ignored by their MPs - indeed they were held in much greater esteem than their present day successors. I doubt very much that Asquith, Baldwin, Chamberlain, Churchill or Attlee et al spent much time attending to the particular concerns of their local constituents - yet few seemed to care!

    I think it comes down to the death of deference and greater accessibility.

    That’s generally a good thing IMO. But it does mean today’s voters expect their MP to do their personal bidding, rather than send someone to London to run the country for five years.

    Perhaps “disconnect” was the wrong word, but we’ve moved from an era where voters were remote and not bothered. to where they know and expect more but are invariably disappointed.
    I totally agree - we now expect far too much of our MPs in terms of casework and insist that they effectively act as social workers. As a result, they no longer have the time to think in depth and to contemplate the wider national implications of policy decisions.
    They ought to have paid assistants to do 95% of the casework, leaving them the few cases that need contact with ministers. Sometimes when I say that there should be fewer MPs (maybe around 520) some people complain "what about the casework", but MPs' job is really decision-making, and it doesn't take 650 of them to make decisions.
    Question: If we replaced the current system of voting for 650 MPs with a lottery or Jury duty based system whereby 650 people are selected at random to make decisions for five years, would it be a better or worse system than we have now?

    How many people would agree with the statement that yes, it would be a better system? Would more people agree with the statement now than would have agreed ten years ago? Twenty years ago? If so, why?

    Are our politicians no longer up to the job, or as glw states below, is it simply a lot easier to catch them out these days as being no better or wiser than the rest of us?
    The outcome might not be far off (given the lack of due diligence among voters I mentioned in the header), but it would be hard to call it democratic.
  • kyf_100kyf_100 Posts: 1,508

    kyf_100 said:

    Dadge said:

    justin124 said:


    I think it comes down to the death of deference and greater accessibility.

    That’s generally a good thing IMO. But it does mean today’s voters expect their MP to do their personal bidding, rather than send someone to London to run the country for five years.

    Perhaps “disconnect” was the wrong word, but we’ve moved from an era where voters were remote and not bothered. to where they know and expect more but are invariably disappointed.

    I totally agree - we now expect far too much of our MPs in terms of casework and insist that they effectively act as social workers. As a result, they no longer have the time to think in depth and to contemplate the wider national implications of policy decisions.
    They ought to have paid assistants to do 95% of the casework, leaving them the few cases that need contact with ministers. Sometimes when I say that there should be fewer MPs (maybe around 520) some people complain "what about the casework", but MPs' job is really decision-making, and it doesn't take 650 of them to make decisions.
    Question: If we replaced the current system of voting for 650 MPs with a lottery or Jury duty based system whereby 650 people are selected at random to make decisions for five years, would it be a better or worse system than we have now?

    How many people would agree with the statement that yes, it would be a better system? Would more people agree with the statement now than would have agreed ten years ago? Twenty years ago? If so, why?

    Are our politicians no longer up to the job, or as glw states below, is it simply a lot easier to catch them out these days as being no better or wiser than the rest of us?
    The outcome might not be far off (given the lack of due diligence among voters I mentioned in the header), but it would be hard to call it democratic.
    It's just a thought experiment, but it's not entirely undemocratic, either. A random cross section of society is chosen by lottery to govern for a fixed term of five years. It may offer more representation to, say, a Conservative voter in Bootle (I assume there are some?) who has never been represented in his or her life. I believe others have made similar arguments about the single stochastic vote system of electing representatives, which you could argue is more democratic than our current system.

    How about scrapping the Lords and creating a second chamber selected entirely by lottery? No power to propose or make law, but the ability to veto it or send it back. As a way to provide a check and balance on the government of the day.
  • nico67nico67 Posts: 1,761
    OMG Keir Starmer would be happy to see Brexit not happen !

    And this is news ! It’s hardly a big shock . He is of course reflecting the views of a huge majority of members and Labour voters .

    He’s not there to facilitate Mays deal unless it has a referendum attached . I’m surprised these for show negotiations lasted this long .

    Perhaps it would have been a bit too obvious to cancel them as the ink was drying on the extension letter from the EU so they threw in an extra 24 hours for good measure !
  • tlg86tlg86 Posts: 10,900
    edited April 12
    justin124 said:

    Dadge said:

    justin124 said:

    justin124 said:

    I enjoyed the article and agreed with most of it. However, 'the disconnect between Westminster and the voters' in some ways is nothing new - indeed was it ever thus? When I think of MPs from the pre-war period - indeed as recently as the 1960s and 1970s - I am struck by how much more remote they were from their constituents than is the case today. Many failed to hold surgeries at all and quite a few rarely set foot in their constituencies from one year to the next. Yet paradoxically , there was little evidence that electors felt particularly neglected or ignored by their MPs - indeed they were held in much greater esteem than their present day successors. I doubt very much that Asquith, Baldwin, Chamberlain, Churchill or Attlee et al spent much time attending to the particular concerns of their local constituents - yet few seemed to care!

    I think it comes down to the death of deference and greater accessibility.

    That’s generally a good thing IMO. But it does mean today’s voters expect their MP to do their personal bidding, rather than send someone to London to run the country for five years.

    Perhaps “disconnect” was the wrong word, but we’ve moved from an era where voters were remote and not bothered. to where they know and expect more but are invariably disappointed.
    I totally agree - we now expect far too much of our MPs in terms of casework and insist that they effectively act as social workers. As a result, they no longer have the time to think in depth and to contemplate the wider national implications of policy decisions.
    They ought to have paid assistants to do 95% of the casework, leaving them the few cases that need contact with ministers. Sometimes when I say that there should be fewer MPs (maybe around 520) some people complain "what about the casework", but MPs' job is really decision-making, and it doesn't take 650 of them to make decisions.
    MPs today have far more resources available to them than their predecessors, but it is far from clear that this matches the greater demands and expectations of them.
    I've never spoken to my MP and I don't think I know anyone who has had dealings with their MP in a personal rather than professional capacity. I'm not sure how prevalent this view is, but my suspicion is that our political class today finds it harder to say no. The fact that interest rates have barely moved in a decade is evidence of this, in my opinion.
  • MyBurningEarsMyBurningEars Posts: 2,971


    It would be an interesting debating point to slash the number of MPs.. even down to, say, a couple of hundred.. representing c. half a million each (possibly a county or borough each) to actually make the decisions. But whether through higher money or genuine notability attracting better people, you aim to get serious people rather than Mark Francois. And then you back them with a proper staff to ‘do local’. Lots of cons (not least each idiot who does slip through having a far bigger say), but it’s an alternative system with some pros too.

    As much as you deride Francois for not being "serious", he has demonstrated the capacity - or at least the luck - to jump through whichever hoops were required to become an MP in our current system. In fact, holding one of the country's largest and therefore most coveted majorities, he seems to be a serious hoop-jumper of the first rate. Approval of central party, approval of local party, approval of local voters, the guy's done it all. Goodness only knows how, but he's done it.

    On the face of that evidence of past performance, were the hoops set even higher to select only for the very best hoop-jumpers, then Francois would be significantly more likely to make the cut than the vast majority of MPs.
  • ydoethurydoethur Posts: 18,612
    @justin124

    Which Chamberlain?

    If you are talking about Neville you are wrong. He was famously assiduous as a constituency MP and spent much time in Birmingham.

    If you are talking about Joseph, you would be half right. From 1886 he was increasingly divorced from Birmingham, and from 1906 he was of course incapacitated following a stroke. However as he had done such a huge amount of work for Birmingham before and immediately after entering Parliament, that was forgiven.

    If you mean Austen, you are entirely correct. He did in fact get turned down for a Birmingham seat (I think it was Edgbaston, who eventually adopted Neville instead) because he was considered so remote. Indeed, he nearly lost Birmingham West in 1929, which had previously been one of the safest Tory seats in the country - too much time negotiating treaties and winning Nobel Prizes, not enough time in his constituency.

    Churchill was also quite lazy and on at least one occasion (1908) it was a factor in losing his seat.
  • SandyRentoolSandyRentool Posts: 8,432
    The voters choose from the candidates that the local parties put in front of them. The local parties get to choose from the shortlist put in front of them. Getting onto the approved candidates lists comes from on high. If we are not getting a decent cadre of MPs it is the systems used by the parties to decide who is a suitable candidate to blame.

    Spending 30 or more years living a normal life and then rocking up in Parliament is becoming harder as each electoral cycle goes by.

    Night night all.
This discussion has been closed.