Saturday, 27 June 2009

"The Dangerous Constitutions Bill"

This is Alan Beith's term for the rushed - it has to finish all its Commons stages by next Wednesday - Parliamentary Standards Authority Bill, by analogy with the infamously bungled Dangerous Dogs Act. The government, has reacted in panic on MPs' expenses and allowances, as Glyn Davies has noted.

Rather than sulking in his tent after defeat in the election for Speaker, Sir Alan has, as chairman of the Commons Justice Committee, immediately acted to improve the timetable for the Bill. He has persuaded the government to leave the clauses which have constitutional implications for the second day of debate, so that his Committee can examine them beforehand and hear evidence, in public, from the Clerk to the House, with all his accumulated wisdom.

Sir Alan summed up: "We can't afford to waste an opportunity, and we can't afford to ignore public anger which, although it started with the expenses issue, has much broader potential. If we go on passing Bills which are not properly debated and if we fail to address issues which the public wants addressed, then that, too, will provoke public anger. So let's seize the opportunity, and let's do it properly." (Taken from an interview for Radio 4's "Today in Parliament", which will be available on iPlayer for another five days.)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Most people see this as something of a smokescreen, bolting the proverbial stable door after the horse has boulted.

Todate, while a large number of MPs have paid back expenses, none of the buggers has been investigated by the police or brought before the Beak, why not?

The Metropolitan Police were more than happy to arrest Damian Green, in the House of Commons without a Warrant, but not so bloody keen now to knick any MPs who have stolen from the Taxpayer?