Time for Change

(And I mean real change).

I’ve know for some years our political system is in trouble. With the election of Tony Blair (although previous PM’s did pave the way) the position of Prime Minister seems to be more and more presidential. This wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing if we had a system designed around a president, but we don’t.

It seems far too often important bills are drawn up in secret meeting (although to be honest most of the times they ain’t that secret) in No 10, with the occasional deal done with the leader of the opposition. Its still goes through he parliamentary procedure but with the use of whips and “timetabling” the parliamentary procedure is just done for show boating – a bit of theatre if you like. You get the feeling they only go though the process as they have to.

The Digital Economy Bill was a great example of this. Both the second and third readings allowed next to no time to discuss the bill. In the third reading hardly any of the bill got discussed, and that’s with amendments been dropped to allow more to be covered. It completely ludicrous that this situation is allowed to occur, and that none of the main parties seem to be willing to do anything about it. We may as well do away with the house of commons if this is the case. I mean the only time its seems to be full is PMQ, and that’s just a slanging match, with some pre-staged questions either designed to embarrass the government or to allow them to boast.

As for the election – well its not looking good. So far it seems to be about one party saying boo hiss look how bad the other party is – we’ll be betters. You get statements from them saying that x will or won’t do y. Well to be honest I don’t care. I don’t believe you when you say that and anyway I’ll find that out for myself. What I want to hear is what you will do and what you want do (and possibly why).

In case anyone of interest does happen to read this – here’s some idea in what I’m looking for in a candidate (in no particular order):

  • No more PFI. Its cheaper for Government to borrow, so what’s the point in PFI?
  • Parliamentary process reform – allow proper time for discussion, public consultation etc. Exepect in the case of emergency allow a week to pass between each stage. Ban the use of whips*
  • Expense reforms – pay raises for key members to bring them in line with reasonable industry and public sector roles. Clamp down on misuse of expense, and expense privileges not allowed to anyone else (IE claiming for accountants etc).
  • Limited public sector pay rise until economy picks up – say max ~£500 to help balance the pay gap
  • Commitment to more use of free and open source software, including ensuring no public services are limited to only MS and Apple systems
  • Removal of the Digital Economy bill and start work on a new one
  • Appoint Tom Watson as Digital Tzar
  • EU – Put serious work and effort into making the EU more democratic and aim for actually sorting out the issues with the EU finance so that the auditors will actually sign it off for once
  • Pubs – Tackle the tied system. It doesn’t work and is in desperate need of reform.
  • Science – Seriously increase funding for science including education.
  • BBC – Keep 6 Music etc and cut the real wastes of money. Stop pandering to Murdoch
  • Patents – NO SOFTWARE PATENTS
  • Copyright – Reduce the copyright length down to something more reasonable, introduce a fair use law
  • Environment – Increase recycling and attempt to stamp out the current trend of electronic items been consumables. Decrease out dependence on oil to minimise the effect of ‘peak oil’
  • Planning Reforms – To stop the bully and bribing big business use to get things past.
  • Increase funding for Rail Infrastructure and new trains.
  • Remove crown copy right and replace with laws on fair reporting and quoting for newspapers etc
  • Libel Law – Stop Libel Tourism and allow a right for free publication of science papers and comments
  • Whistle-blowers – Clap down on the abuse most whistle-blowers experience after there actions have become know.

There probably lots of other things I’d like to see if I put my mind to it – however the parties themselves should be coming up with these ideas, ensuring they are feasible and proposing them to us rather than bickering between themselves.

Here’s hoping things pick up from here. If not it may have to spoil my vote.

*In some case I can accept dismissing people from the party etc in case of voting against any issue the government got elected on or against key party beliefs.

April 11, 2010 · robert · Comments Closed
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