11:50 am - May 16th 2009
While there has been a lot of anger and condemnation expressed about MPs expenses, and quite rightly too, there is less agreement about how we take this forward. The outrage over expenses is, to my mind, a proxy for wider annoyance and disenchantment with Westminster.
So the question is: can we capture use the anger and energy out there and channel it towards a wider agenda? There’s a lot of people already thinking about this and I went to one meeting yesterday where some people are planning to do exactly that.
But two questions are key. First, what should be the agenda and list of demands? How would you like to see Westminster changed? Secondly, what would be the vehicle to push through broader change?
I’d like to shift our focus to constructive change – so I’ll be publishing more information and debate about how do we go from here. I also created a Facebook Group last night (join up!) which will also publish information on what’s going on.
Some demands on expenses
– We want a full, audited disclosure of all expenses claims, linked to property addresses.
– A full investigation by HMRC, the police and the CPS of potentially fraudulent/illegal cases.
– A ban on paid outside jobs for MPs.
– An independent committee to monitor MPs expenses, and keep these as low as possible.
– We should think about organising street protests to keep up the pressure on MPs.
– Demand changes to the electoral system so we can get rid of greedy MPs from each of the parties!
– A right to recall for MPs
Add your own to the list!
To push these changes, we can’t depend on the Conservative Party. A few maverick Labour MPs may be persuaded, but who?
Why aren’t the Libdems forcefully making the case for a root and branch overhaul of the electoral system? Or should we be thinking about independent candidates standing in constituencies to push out scamming Labour or Tory MPs?
Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
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Story Filed Under: Blog ,Civil liberties ,Local Government ,Our democracy ,Westminster
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