The cat’s out of the bag – tying Parliament to a fixed term of five years was an “irresponsible” act that has “diminished Parliament in the eyes of the public.
That’s the verdict of former House of Commons Speaker Baroness Boothroyd (who is neither the ‘cat’ nor the ‘bag’ mentioned in the introductory paragraph, thank you very much).
Research has shown that MPs sat for just 44 per cent of weekdays over the past year, and only 11 new bills have been introduced in this Parliamentary session – the second lowest in recent history.
Our MPs are working the equivalent of zero-hours contracts – but being paid almost three times as much as most people in full-time employment. Nice work if you can get it!
The revelation that Parliamentary business on Monday was finished after just three hours has led to revived accusations that the Coalition is now running a ‘zombie’ Parliament – just ticking over until the election, while doing nothing about the serious issues of our times.
Baroness Boothroyd said this time-wasting was “an insult to the Parliamentary system” – and she’s right.
We should all know where to lay the blame, too: David Cameron’s puffed-up sense of self-importance, coupled (disconcertingly) with his insecurity.
After he conned his way into Number 10, Cameron knew his position was precarious, so he set about ensuring that he would have the time he felt he needed to inflict on the nation the damage he intended for (among others) the NHS, the welfare state, the economy and the justice system.
That’s why he made sure that his government could only be removed with a confidence vote that would have to be supported by a large proportion of his own Conservative MPs. This would never happen because Tories love power.
Previously, a confidence vote only needed to be won by more than half the MPs in the House of Commons. Cameron changed this because more than half the MPs in the Commons belong to other parties.
That guaranteed his security, but we should also consider his sense of self-importance. Cameron didn’t care if his government ran out of work before the end – he was determined to be Prime Minister for the maximum amount of time possible.
That’s why we have been kept waiting for an election. He knows he won’t win but he’s determined to sit in Downing Street, crossing off the days on his calendar, for just as long as he possibly can.
He doesn’t care if this means a massive increase in the suffering caused by his policies.
He just wants to guarantee his own place in history.
In fact, we all know that Cameron’s place in history is guaranteed already. His place in history is already assured:
“David Cameron: Worst-ever British Prime Minister.”
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