I just mailed my MP
Dear Andrew Slaughter,
I Recently contacted you expressing my desire for a fair settlement for The Gurkhas, Obviously my comments had an effect ;-), as the government has now ruled in their favour.
Feeling very empowered by this I would like to suggest some big changes in government
First of all it is surely time to bring in proportional representation, hopefully an end to safe seat MPs running up huge duck island bills etc
Secondly sort out the house of lords we need a second house but it must be fairly elected/ selected, something like jury service? not as a reward for huge Donnations or sympathetic business dealings.
Next up MPs salaries, you guys get food expenses worth more than a state pension,?!?! Fair pay rises should be awarded, we don't want politics to be exclusively for the rich and expenses should be for real necessary expenditure, ie travel and thats it.
Also second homes should be modest government owned properties in London you have the use of whilst an MP and then no longer.
And second, third, fourth jobs are a no-no, MPs have a very important job to do focus on that and nothing else, besides the blindingly obvious dangers regarding conflicts of interest.
On the subject of money- Party funding, if you pay a lot of money to a party or even a peer you are going to expect some sort of a comeback, donations need to be limited and some form of state funding and definitely a cap for parties is required.
Things must be made more transparent as well, self regulation has obviously failed, I see from your voting record that, until recently, you were absent on most of the previous FOI votes, Ill assume you had pressing constituency matters.
We also desperately need to see a change in party politics, I am soooo tired of politicians too afraid to speak their mind, trotting out the same tired party sound bites to avoid answering questions on Newsnight, do you have any idea how much this makes me want to scream at the MP "just answer the question you spineless ...." anyway the whips need less power, you should be able to vote as your conscience dictates after weighing up all available information. (with only one job MPs should have plenty of time to read and digest new legislation and pertinent information)
This should hopefully lead to more mature debates in the house and less of a schoolboy shouting match
The selection process for MPs also needs overhaul, some of the statements made by rt hon members up to their eyeballs in manure lately have been incredible, we need a process that selects the best brightest and most capable, not the idle rich, oxbridge bully boy or career MP who has worked for the party since uni and has no concept of the real world. Also, where are all the women at?, Im not sure whether quotas are the way forward but can you please explain why there aren't 50% female MPs in parliament? If the HoC was a nightclub I believe it would be termed ,in the vernacular, 'a cockfest', and too much testosterone leads to too much drinking and fighting and not enough partying, or in the House's case too much jeering, harrumphing, and shouting and not enough actual debate.
The rules for running the house desperately need to change secret ballots eg to select a speaker, ridiculous ways of addressing one another and so on, the palace of Westminster provides you with all the sense of history and tradition you need.
And also we want and need a proper constitution!
And finally as spiderman knows with great power comes great responsibility, those who have failed to act responsibly, who have lied or committed fraud should be kicked out and prosecuted in the same manner as anyone else, you are not above the law.
The expenses row has given us an amazing opportunity to sort out our archaic and anachronistic parliament at a time when we desperately need strong governance.
Question Time and This Week were given prime time slots on BBC1 last night the current interest in politics is unprecedented. The last 2 elections have seen the lowest turnout since the war, this is an opportunity to reverse that, offer the public what they want and healthy democracy can be resurrected from this mess.
It seems likely that the tories will sweep into power next time round, so what have you got to loose? labour could spend its last nine months actually leaving a real legacy for the country not just a bitter taste and a mountain of debt.
Who knows, if you did all this you might even see the miracle of re-election!
Like most voters I can see very little difference between any of the major parties, morally or politically any one of them could use a platform of actual reform (when i say reform i mean exactly that not years of tedious committees and quangos) to get themselves elected and respected by the voters.
All it will take is an MP or group of MPs with the 'testicular fortitude' to sort this mess out.