Printer Friendly

Gordon's last prayer to restore our faith.

Byline: Kelvin Maguire

WE'VE just lived through 10 momentous days that shook the political world.

The sleaze-fest feels considerably longer - as long as one of those seemingly neverending furniture store sales.

Yet less than a fortnight after Michael Martin lost his rag defending MPs' expenses, the Speaker has been forced to quit his chair - a seat that rivalled the throne in power.

This is fast-moving, unpredictable turmoil in the House of Commons which will reverberate across the country.

The kaleidoscope Tony Blair referred to after 9/11 is again shaken, the pieces are in flux.

Soon they will settle again and the goal is to re-order democracy and restore public trust in the House of Shame.

Speaker Martin's tetchy 71-word resignation will be worthless unless the rotten system of moats and phantom mortgages is consigned to history.

Gordon Brown fought valiantly last night to recapture a toehold on the moral high ground, to demand personal integrity from every Dishonourable Member.

In the recent past it's proved as easy as herding cats, MPs defending every disgraceful penny of vested financial interests.

The hair-shirt Premier is commendably determined to measure them all for one of his economy suits.

And the corrupt need to be prosecuted and the greediest forced into retirement or deselected with a boot up the backside.

David Cameron has ideas of his own - but the Tory spin doctor's more skilled at surfing public emotion than producing principled proposals.

Over the past 10 days of talking to dozens of Labour MPs I reckon a sizeable majority believe the game's up, the next election lost.

The mood of resignation infects the No.10 bunker - though not a resolutely upbeat Premier - where talk can be heard of a long, slow inevitable death.

Labour's best hope of surviving as the biggest party in a hung Parliament was in popular local MPs floating on the Tory tide instead of being swamped.

Dry rot claims and massage chairs mean incumbency's no longer a lucky rabbit's foot, a reckless expenses claim transforming it into an albatross around the neck of otherwise hardworking MPs.

STENCH

I've written in the past about the whiff - or stench - of the end of an era.

Brown's sole hope, the slimmest of slim chances, is to go for broke and offer an all-singing, all-dancing fresh start.

Kicking out avaricious MPs and introducing a defensible expenses system should be only the start.

Other reforms should include a right of constituents to recall MPs who lose their confidence.

Electoral reform, fixed elections every four years, shutting the House of Cronies and, perhaps, US-style limits on Downing Street tenancies need to be on the agenda.

Because unless faith is restored in politicians and politics, Brown's wasting his time drawing dividing lines over policies with the Tories.
COPYRIGHT 2009 MGN LTD
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2009 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

 
Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:May 20, 2009
Words:461
Previous Article:Fraud of the manor.
Next Article:Thousands of jellyfish washed up; SEASIDE.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2018 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters