I am referring to my new e-petition, which calls on the government to legislate against MPs speaking or voting in debates on matters which could lead to them, companies connected with them or donors to their political party, gaining money. You can find it at http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/44971 – got it? Good, now sign it, please. Done that? Now read on. Thanks!
I do think this is a vital step to prevent corruption – if such a law had been in place before the current government came into power, Andrew Lansley would not have been able to speak in favour of his Health and Social Care Act before it was passed (he had received money from Care UK, as is well-documented on this blog and others).
But it is only a step. If this e-petition receives 10,000 signatures, then the government will post a response and I am dying to find out what it might be.
A Facebook friend of this blog sent me the response to an e-petition calling for the abolition of “work for your benefit/workfare” schemes in the UK, which seemed most keen to take issue with the use of the word “workfare”, even though it has been well-established in the British political scene for many years. It went on to describe the work-for-benefit schemes it does offer – in glowing terms. It makes me doubt whether the people responsible have taken the petition seriously.
Please support my petition. And please promote it by sharing the link with your friends – both online and in the real world, if possible. The Coalition Agreement of 2010 states that “the Government believes that we need to throw open the doors of public bodies, to enable the public to hold politicians and public bodies to account” but we have seen no evidence of this happening. If anything, it seems the creatures who stalk the corridors of power are more corrupt than ever before.
Does anyone remember the scandal when it was revealed lobbyists could gain access to David Cameron in return for a £250,000 donation to the Conservative Party?
This kind of behaviour must be fought. First, I think we should try to banish it from the chamber of the House of Commons. If a debate does take place, it would be interesting to see who takes part and how many oppose the proposal – for obvious reasons.
If the e-petition gets that far, it might be possible to expand, considering the activities of lobbyists and whether former MPs should be allowed to take jobs with companies that benefit from government contracts.
For my next e-petition, I have been weighing up my chances of getting one published that would seek a debate on
Gideon George Osborne’s misuse of taxpayers’ cash to fund his £1 million property moneyspinner – the paddock affair. I couldn’t get one published about the Commissioner for Parliamentary Standards, who whitewashed the issue, and I doubt I could get one published seeking the dismissal of Osborne himself.
But a debate, using him as an example? That might be the way.
As ever, I am interested in your opinions.