Imagine a job where you are the boss, you don’t work for anyone else, but lots of people work for you. You don’t have to worry about sales targets, production targets or well, any kind of targets. A job where you’d have more holidays than when you were at school and an unlimited expenses account. A job where you’d only have to turn up when you felt like it. A job that lets you deicide your own salary, perks and privileges. Well imagine no more, such a job exists and has for quite some time. You can be an MP!
These MP’s who, as I have already said, have the best job in the world, have now decided that it would be best if a law passed in 2000, didn’t actually apply to them. Well why not? Making such decisions in the real world would be classed as corruption, a conflict on interest, but in Parliament, where they set their own pay rises, salaries and perks, it is par for the course.
Some it seems do have a conscience with Norman Baker MP stating:
“It is an effrontery for the House of Commons to make the deeply hypocritical move of exempting itself from a law that applies to every other public body in the country.”
Unfortunately it seems that Mr Baker is in a minority. I shouldn’t be surprised though, Parliament has long been a way to line one’s own pockets. These people are meant to be public servants, the truth is they are answerable to no-one. It is easy to claim that if they don’t serve their constituents that they will be replaced, but either you’d be replacing him with another money grabbing passenger on the gravy train, or you’d be none the wiser of their antics. Particularly as the latest law that they have decided doesn’t apply to them is the Freedom of Information Act.
Apparently MPs are so trustworthy and honest they don’t need to explain how they run up a £100,000+ a year expense account, they don’t need to be questioned or brought to account for any shady business deals. They are as honest as they come, beyond reproach and if we don’t believe them, tough, they are intent on taking away any chance we’d have of proving it.
This of course is what is wrong with our so called democracy, I say so called because to all intents and purposes, it isn’t. Democracy means, quite literally, “rule by the people” but that has long since changed. The original ideal was that everyone that had a vested interest in something could vote and the majority wins. Of course in governing a country it isn’t always possible to get them all together, educate them on the issue and then have a vote. That is how Parliaments, MPs and elections were brought about. The people elect a candidate who they believe best represents them, to vote on their behalf.
Perhaps that worked at one time, but I don’t believe it. The people that are elected always seem to be the rich and the powerful, the people that benefit most from laws and legislation are again the rich and the powerful, whilst the loser is the common man. The Information Age, the power of the Internet and for that matter TV and telephones have made this method of Government obsolete. Now it is possible, the people are well educated, intelligent (for the most part) and with the Internet it is now possible for the people to research and then to vote directly on the issues as it suits them and not as it suits those in power. Let’s face it, this Bill would never have been passed had the people of the United Kingdom voted on it, yet we are meant to trust those whom the Bill directly affects to act in an objective manner. We have seen clearly that they cannot.
Not everyone in the UK has a computer of course or an Internet connection, some don’t even have a TV. But if an MP has an expense account of £120,000 a year on average and there are 646 MPs, well that makes £77,520,000 saved each year, that’s more than a million pounds per person in the UK, more than enough to buy everyone a PC and get them on the Net. Of course that doesn’t include the MPs salary of £60,000 a year (basic), a further £38,760,000 at least. Quite a substantial saving, more than enough each year to cover the costs of ensuring that everyone who wishes to vote can do so. I am sure the average turn out of 40% for general elections will be substantially higher if the people knew that what they are voting for will actually make a difference.
Of course the civil servants would be able to carry doing what they do already, all of the real work and the so called ‘elite’ can find themselves proper jobs. I am sure that they’ll soon discover that all those directorships and consultants posts dry up pretty fast when they have no real power or talent.