Thursday, 28 May 2009

Round-Up: An Agenda For Reform

With the furore over the current MPs expenses scandal continuing to bite into the public consciousness politicians on all sides have been furiously scrambling to develop proposals which they think will win back any trust lost in what they each stand for.

Labour says transparency is key and that regulation is the way to ensure it.

Local candidate Anneliese Dodds and outgoing MP Martin Salter have joined forces to propose a simple once-and-for-all seven point plan which they hope will restore lost faith in the system of politics presided over by their party.

Conservatives agree on the principle that changes are needed, but disagree with everybody else and themselves over what the precise nature of the changes should be.

National leader David Cameron has issued a revolutionary call for 'people power', a move criticised for potentially bypassing parliament and which could risk undermining any attempts to hold the executive to account in an effective and direct manner.

Kentwood councillor Emma Warman is more cautious about offering her view of the precise nature of any reforms, and says she will be following the headlines to see which way she will swing. However, RBWM Council Leader David Burbage is scathing about electoral reform and can't wait until the next general election brings in a new set of faces.

LibDems argue that accountability is the fundamental issue and a completely new reforming agenda is needed.

Leader Nick Clegg has been praised for laying out a thorough-going and 'visionary' raft of proposals which include 'root and branch' reforms of everything from expenses to party funding and election procedures - he says it's not enough to change the faces of the politicians, because if the system stays the same the result will be the same.

Cllr Glenn Goodall weighs in with a summary of the main areas which need addressing, on which there is a general cross-party consensus.

Mark Thompson is pleased that electoral and constitutional reform is now being taken more seriously considered as it is one of the main reasons he joined the party, while Tilehurst LibDem councillor Ricky Duveen is surprised at the sudden rise in popularity of an issue which he has been campaigning on for many years and Cllr Swaine provides a reminder of some interventions he's actively supported.

Green Party candidates Rob White and Adrian Hollister find themselves unable to differentiate between individual representatives as they make a sweeping dismissal of all other parties.

They are clearly less concerned with the detail of any proposals than trying to ensure their own are elected, because it is surely obvious that every single last Green party member is by definition immune from any form of error of judgment or culpability in corrupt practices!

Finally Howard Thomas of Reading's own Common Sense Party offers his less-than-extensive 'common sense solution' to close the loopholes and resolve all the problems problems created when money and politics mix, which involves his view of the most significant of the measures proposed by the other parties.

Nevertheless Howard is staightforward in debunking the sudden urgency of recent converts to the case for reform.

Oranjepan says:
All parties are fighting over this issue, so they obviously feel their response will be decisive in deciding the turnout of future elections.


  1. Typical LibDem bias. Do you work for the BBC?

  2. ...biased because he's a LibDem or a LibDem because he's biased, eh?

  3. all politicians are evil

  4. Amazing how local Tories have nothing to say other than abuse.....

  5. Point of information; the letter you link to was written by Patrick Little.


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