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"Write something worth reading or do something worth writing" A blog by Amy Willis, a multimedia journalist based in London

The Labour Party – the new Big Brother show?

Local and European election results clearly show public feeling following the expenses fiasco.

The Labour Party is finally being punished. Punished for MP’s ridiculous expense claims that have made a mockery of the tax payer and left a bitter taste of distrust in the political sphere among voters and politicians.

The floodgates of expense claims opened with an adult movie bought by Jackie Smith’s husband and sneakily put on the taxpayers’ bill. But it didn’t stop there. We later discovered that MP’s have made claims for moats, helipads and duck hotels, their hands snapping at the purse strings of the nation – all under Gordon Brown’s bleary-eyed watch.

Westminster - the new Big Brother house?

Westminster - the new Big Brother house?

Moral is at an all time low and faith in the once almighty Labour Party has all but disappeared.

Now politicians, many at the forefront of the expense embarrassment, are jumping ship to save themselves. Jackie Smith, Hazel Blears and James Purnell have all publically resigned. Who is next in this mutiny?

Gordon Brown can reshuffle the old crew all he likes but rotten wood will always be rotten wood. What the public needs is strong new wood to rebuild the ship’s skeleton and the bones of a democratic society.

An early Autumn election is the only way to do this. The Labour Party has lost all credibility and the only way to gain this back is with a General Election.
Having established that politicians are completely incapable of self-regulation, it seems obvious to let the public make the decisions in terms of who should stay and who should go.

In denying the public this, it is ignoring the principles at the heart of a democratic society. It is denying a fresh start and forcing the ship to sink faster.
Gordon Brown’s botched attempt at rebuilding the ship with a so-called reshuffle is a joke.  Anyone can see this is not going to save him. It is simply prolonging the suffering of him and his crew.

And this joke is being played out before the eyes of the nation. It seems a similar show to Big Brother is being played out before us in the Houses of Parliament. It is embarrassing to watch. What little respect there was left for contestants is gradually wearing away further.

And as with the show, if the public has no say in evictions, people simply start switching off.

We need to stop Westminster being seen as a joke and rebuild respect. Gordon Brown needs to step up and give the chance for the public to participate. This is the only way forward and out of this mess.

Filed under: blog posts, Politics, , ,

An expenses choice

Revelations over MPs misusing the expenses system have severely undermined the political system.

Lavish claims for moats, helipads, and even as revealed today, a duck-hotel, has cast doubt as to the sincerity of even the most senior political figures.

Even the speaker of the house of commons is not immune. Only a few months after he had cause controversy by allowing Police to search Damien McBride’s office without a search warrant, an expense claim for his wife’s £4,000 worth of taxi rides was revealed.

To top it all off, in the expense debate he missed the point entirely. To him, finding the source of the leak was of greater importance than the revelation that MPs were ripping the public off.

His refusal to take a neutral stance on repaying expense claims was the final straw. He was forced to resign.

The resignation was a welcome move because his presence in the chamber was like an anchor holding the ship down as it was sinking.

Change is on the horizon. But there is still a problem and the ship in its present form won’t make it.

Despite the anchor being cut free, the old ship is so battered in its current state it will never reach the horizon.

The Government - a sinking ship?

The Government - a sinking ship?

The old problems still remain. And because of this the public will never have faith in this Government if it remains as it is without any kind of shake-up. It is time for change. Public faith in politicians is at an all-time low.

This Government have shown themselves to be happily dipping deep into taxpayers’ pockets without any guilt whatsoever. And it is difficult to forgive, let alone respect, theft.

The only way faith in the system can be restored is if Gordon Brown swallows his pride and orders a General Election. It is time to get rid of the rotten wood.

It is time to let the public have their say in the debate. And by refusing to do this and ignoring his nation he is not only tearing apart his own reputation but he is shattering the heart of democracy.

By voting out those who have abused the system, the nation can start rebuilding the battered ship with new wood rather than trying to patch it up with rotten bits that keep falling off.

This is the only way the Government can change. It is time to start rebuilding a Government everyone can trust.

Filed under: blog posts, Politics, , ,

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