Op-ed; Would you agree that British politics is a dirty and deceitful business where money and outside forces have too much power?
The electorate of the UK is already disenfranchised with British politics which could result in a poor turn-out at the May 2015 General Election. I would argue that instead the electorate should hot-foot it to the polls to make sure the least sleazy, corrupt and self-serving party is elected to run the UK.
But putting all of that aside news Thursday that a secret Tory plot was hatched to oust the Speaker of the Commons John Bercow from his role indicates politicians have sunk to a new low.
BBC News reports Thursday;
As William Hague is stepping down from politics at the May election his reasons for hatching the plot are debatable and questionable.
Attempting to change the rules for electing the Speaker of the House of Commons indicates the Tories are not that confident that they will be victorious in the May election and are trying to make changes while still in office.
John Bercow replaced Michael Martin
In 2009 Speaker of the Commons Michael Martin, Labour, became a casualty of the expenses scandal which sent politicians and Parliament into a spin, in England. Initially he tried to just carry on regardless but in no time at all it was obvious that he would have to go and he informed the World that he was resigning his post; this resignation alone put him into the History Books of British Politics. June 17, 2009, he delivered his final words, chairing his last Prime Minister's question time and of course members of the House sung his praises but, considering that in many ways they hit the final nail into the Speaker coffin, it was all a bit pathetic.
Politics is a little different the world over. Even those countries that have democratically elected politicians tend to go about their business in very different ways. From the way that politicians are selected and elected to the way that Parliament, Government or Senates are run on a daily basis there are huge differences.
England of course has many oddities in its electoral system. Some would say that this is because we have had elected officials forming governments much longer than many other countries but is it because we hang onto traditional aspects of everything and that is just what we have done with Parliament?
The Houses of Parliament are situated along the Thames Embankment in the Heart of London. This is in the London City or borough of Westminster. Here is where the two separate political Houses operate.
House of Lords / The Lords
The House of Lords is full of outdated pomp and ceremony. Although this House is not elected by the people it has more power than many realise. The politicians here are able to scupper Bills from the House of Commons and either prevent or slow down legislation. They can also force amendments to be made to proposed Laws and the like.
At one time there were more hereditary Peers; Peers are the men and women who have been made Lords and Ladies and now sit in this House. Some Peers attend the House of Lords faithfully while others just reap the rewards with the minimum input and attendance.
Legislation by the Labour Party to reduce the power of The House of Lords and limit the amount of hereditary peers was scuppered, pretty much by The Lords. By the time the Bill was passed it was a poor imitation of its original draft.
During David Cameron's coalition government the number sitting in the Lords has increased significantly.
The House of Commons / The Commons
Parliament in England changed during the days of Oliver Cromwell. Commons literally refers to those politicians who sit in, The Commons, as common people, due to the fact that they are 'ordinary folk' rather than members of the aristocracy.
The politicians in the House of Commons are all democratically elected and individually are called Members of Parliament. There is the leader of the House of Commons, William Hague at this time, and there is an opposition made up of a couple of other political parties and then there is a SPEAKER. This Speaker is referred to as Mr Speaker or Madam Speaker if the role is filled by a woman. The previous speaker was just that; Betty Boothroyd was the first, and still to date the only, female Speaker of the House of Commons.
What is 'the Speaker'?
On the whole it is fair to say that the Speaker of the House of Commons is a type of referee. He or she attempts to keep order in the House of Commons and tries to stop the name calling, obscene language, time wasting and general bad behaviour.
When some sessions of parliament were first televised, a few years ago, it was an eye opener. Considering that these men and women are the most powerful in the UK it was frightening. Shouting across parliament to members of the opposition they at best seemed like children and at worst seemed like simpletons.
So, as you can see The Speaker's role is both important and difficult.
The Speaker needs to ensure that everyone gets a fair crack of the whip, as far as input goes, and that they also abide by the rules of the House.
At one time the Speaker was an ex leader of the government but that all changed in 1983.
So why the secret plot to oust Bercow and change the rules and why now?
Whatever the reason the plot failed although it was expected to succeed as various MPs had already left parliament for the break to hit the election campaign trail.
So William Hague finishes his parliamentary career with a dirty unsuccessful plot on his copybook.
A Tory back bench rebellion almost brought Bercow to tears and scuppered Hague's plot.
March 3, 2015
Op-ed; As the House of Commons shut up shop Wednesday time was precious. Parliament closes officially Monday until sometime after the May General Election when a political party or parties are able to form a new government.
So it was more important than ever that MPs used the precious time left to debate and vote on matters important to the electorate but instead a great deal of time was wasted on a plot by former Foreign Secretary William Hague to oust Speaker of the House John Bercow
Hague is leaving politics at the May election and so his reasons for stealing valuable political time in a such way are confusing. He is of course a good friend of PM David Cameron and so the assumption may be that he was not entirely acting independently.
But whatever the reason the debate on a Mayfair tax loophole was abandoned as time ran out leaving some to wonder if as far as Hague and others go it was job done?
Campaign group 38 Degrees has information regarding this tax loophole and as always a petition is available. The Mayfair tax loophole is described on 38 Degrees website as follows;
Exposed: the government has rubber-stamped a legal loophole that allows millionaire finance bosses to pay a lower rate of tax than many nurses and teachers. It's losing us up to £700 million a year - and 38 Degrees members are exposing the scandal with an explosive people-powered report.
The so-called people powered report is well worth reading especially in the run up to the General Election. It begins by stating "how the UK government helps private equity executives to pay lower tax rates than nurses and teachers, and what could be done about it."
Opinion: Once again we have confirmation that the Tories are not the political party working for the people of the UK. They work for a select minority and are happy to schedule more welfare cuts if they are elected in May rather than make sure those who can afford to pay do so.
Just read the beginning of the report briefing which says;
Private equity fund managers are able to pay tax on much of their income at just 28% - income which in a good year may be between £1.2 to £15 million or more. In some cases, fund managers may lower this further to pay as little as 10% 4(or even 0% if they are not domiciled in the UK). They also avoid national insurance contributions on such income.
PM Cameron and his Chancellor George Osborne have made half-hearted noises about rebalancing the tax burden but continue to let sleeping dogs to lie.
For many the conclusion will be that the very wealthy, some who were out in force donating to the Tories at secret balls recently, have bought and paid for a Conservative government and that welfare reform has nothing to do with the deficit.
38 Degrees info and petition
Whip removed from Rifkind in latest cash for questions row
Tory secret ball auctioneer derides benefit claimants
William Hague Speaker election rules change plot
Arrogance or cunning of David Cameron