Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Furious MPs tell Speaker Martin: go now or suffer 'death by a thousand cuts'.

There is no sight more nauseating on this Earth than the sight of MP's (who have been caught with their snouts in the trough) as they round on the speaker, full of utterly false righteous indignation, and demand that he falls on his sword to restore the dignity to the House which their very own actions have besmirched.

No-one forced these MP's to make these scandalous claims, but they have decided that, because the Speaker played this one badly - which he undeniably did - that he should be the person to pay the price for the deeds of MP's which have so shocked the nation.

Sir Patrick Cormack, one of the longest serving Tory MPs, highlighted Martin's precarious position by likening the atmosphere in the Commons to the Norway debate in 1940. The debate, called after the failure of the British military expedition in Norway at the start of the second world war, prompted the resignation of Neville Chamberlain as prime minister after Leo Amery quoted Oliver Cromwell to say: "In the name of God, go."

Cormack said: "Could I ask you, sir, to bear in mind that the condition of the house now is rather like the condition of the country at the time of the Norway debate, and could you reflect on that?"

So now, Martin is the equivalent of Neville Chamberlain at the time of the Second World War? It's nice to know that our MP's haven't lost their sense of perspective.

And David Cameron, never one to miss a chance to overplay his hand, immediately demanded the dissolution of Parliament after the Euro elections.

The Conservative leader said that although there was no constitutional requirement for a general election until June 2010 and "this Labour government could cling on for another year, with or without a new leader ... I don't think the country wants to wait another year to pass judgment on their politicians, and on this parliament. I don't think the country wants to wait another year before we start dealing seriously with the debt crisis and this economic crisis."

Cameron said that the UK's political system, from the prime minister downwards, was "quite simply paralysed".

"It is now abundantly clear that the country does not want to wait another year to give all of us in Westminster a simple message: we want change. Now get on with it."

Cameron said that trust in politicians had been "shot to pieces" by the MPs' expenses scandal.

"The expenses. The extravagance. The excuses. People need to know that we completely understand how badly we have gone wrong and they want to see we're making every effort to put things right.

One would be forgiven for thinking, listening to Cameron, that the expenses scandal only existed on the Labour side of the house and that the nation was waiting for the noble Tories to come in and clean up this bloody mess. The truth, of course, is that Tory snouts were just as deep in the trough as their Labour counterparts, with one Tory in particular putting in claims to have his moat cleaned.

Quite where Cameron gets the sheer brass neck to pretend that he is the answer to the problem is beyond me. Just as I am mystified at the sight of MP's clamouring for the neck of the Speaker of the House, as if dragging him down will somehow satisfy the public blood lust and the demands that "Something must be done".

The Speaker will not regard this affair as his finest moment, but then neither should the MP's whose now exposed greed has so shocked the nation.

But the notion that sacking Martin, or dissolving parliament so that the Tories can come to power and fix this mess, is the answer to what has taken place, shows that MP's - and it would seem the Tory leadership - really have no idea how deep public anger runs.

No-one wants a quick fix solution where you can point at one person or one party and say, "Remove them and everything will be fine".

Cameron's party are in this up to their necks and, whilst Cameron has played this one better than Brown, he's kidding himself if he thinks that people see the Tories as the answer to this particular problem.

Were Martin to be forced from his position, he would be the first speaker to have to do so since 1695. So we are not exactly in usual circumstances here.

Martin told MPs: "We all bear a heavy responsibility for the terrible damage to the reputation of this house." He did not address his own future, and insisted he could broker an interim deal between the parties in an effort to restore shattered public trust. He also apologised to the people of the United Kingdom: "We have let you down very badly indeed … we must all accept the blame, and to the extent that I have contributed to the situation, I am profoundly sorry."

But that was not enough for the baying pack of wolves. They want a scapegoat. They want someone to fall on his sword so that they can pretend that they have taken care of the matter.

Yesterday's sight disgusted me almost as much as the stories of their rampant greed did.

Click title for full article.


The People's Program said...

The fact that this is unprecedented and occurred so quickly surprises me. Taking the poison pill was the right thing to do.

Kel said...

Oh, he had no choice, but they are trying to scapegoat him.

I hope this doesn't take any heat off the people who were effectively stealing.