Question Time

[This is an archive of an note written about Question Time on Thursday, 14th May 2009]

Benedict Brogan, deputy editor of the Daily Telegraph, asks the question on question time:

“How do you find ways of holding MPs to account, when their own system seems to be so grey and so fluid that there doesn’t seem to be a way of getting them?”

Umm. Well, I’m well aware that there isn’t a way of actually prosecuting most MPs who have abused the system, but surely they are subject to the traditional means of holding them to account? Clue: it involves elections.

Another comment he makes:

“I think the challenge for the party leaders is how fast will they get to the point where they decide [that] what they have to do is put those MPs who have been found wanting in this regard up for reselection before the next general election, in order to clear them out and give the electorate the chance to elect decent MPs”.

Aside from highlighting the important point that too much power is wielded by the party machines over the public in terms of selecting candidates for each constituency, I find it hard to believe that the deputy editor of the Telegaph is wholly unaware of why the party leaders cannot put their “wanting” MPs up for reselection. One cannot govern or lead an opposition without a cabinet, and half the cabinet and shadow cabinet have already been found “wanting”!

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