Sign of turmoil – Kate Hoey for Speaker

In the wake of the expenses crisis, the trouble is, the more we try to grasp the measure of the “power to the people” surge, the more we’re forced to behave like crusty old members of the Westminster village. The great British Ship of State is bucketing about in uncharted waters. Even though everyone is deeply interested in the destination, navigation remains a specialised skill. Rank and file crew members are cowering deep in the hold. The saddest message was texted by an MP to Sam Coates: in Red Box.

Given that MPs are more engaged with constituents than at any time in parliamentary history, why has this coincided with an unprecedented collapse in trust and what does that tell us about how to organise democracy in future? I say this as I have now completed 30000 cases since 2000”

Small wonder that “hundreds” have been telling Nick Robinson they’re thinking of quitting. But mass resignations will trigger fresh bouts of public rage, when the public notice the severance terms, as Nigel Morris reminds me…

MPs embroiled in the scandal remain entitled to two pay-offs so long as they serve until the general election, rather than resign immediately. All MPs who step down, or are defeated, at an election are paid a “resettlement grant” designed to compensate for loss of salary. It ranges between six months’ and one year’s pay depending on age and length of service in the Commons..

An MP aged between 55 and 64 who has been in Parliament for 15 years will be paid a year’s salary – £64,766 at current rates. The first £30,000 is tax-free. In addition, all MPs can claim a maximum of £40,799 for “winding-up costs” to pay off staff and end office leases. Politicians also benefit from a generous final salary pension scheme heavily subsidised by the taxpayer.

No surprise that my post inviting DIY Constitutional reform hasn’t exactly been swamped. Compared to say, the fortunes of TUV that spark off bouts of furious scratching at a bad rash, high end reform talk fails to excite passion. Yet the results of the European and English local elections on June 4 could trigger a political earthquake. In the tense atmosphere before the storm and with political compasses yawing wildly, the talk is mainly of personalities. Which ( if any) cabinet members for the chop? Who’s up for promotion in the doomsday reshuffle? Mandy, claims the Guardian. No, Margaret Beckett, claims the Times. Now there’s a radical line-up for you. And for Speaker? Most of them are known only to us anoraks. Party rebels like Frank Field or John Bercow have their fans in the media but you don’t care do you? Though it would raise more than a flicker of interest if the Lady of Mallusk made it to the Chair.

  • “Though it would raise more than a flicker of interest if the Lady of Mallusk made it to the Chair.”

    More than you might imagine, Brian. The Lady of Mallusk has recently acquired a property on Rathlin Island. Apparently she was unaware that a resident’s pass required a period of residence on the island first 🙂

  • Neil

    She’s got little chance I reckon. Not popular enough.

  • blinding

    The one(or one of) that castes the dagger rarely claims the prize.

  • Empire Home

    I would like to nominate Lady Slyvia,

    would solve that little problem lol

  • “Small wonder that “hundreds” have been telling Nick Robinson they’re thinking of quitting./ Kate Hoey for Speaker”

    You are a wag Brian, I never noticed your sense of humor before.

    By the way lobby fodder like Nick Robinson are part of the problem, for years they have covered up and overlooked the financial excesses of MPs.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    El Gordo and PoshBoyDC should go.

  • LURIG

    She is a fish out of water in the Labour party; comes across as a Tory and die hard Unionist.

  • Doctor Who

    Lurig many would say coming across like a Tory makes her suited to New Labour.

    When you say she is a “die hard Unionist”, what you mean to say is she wishes NI to stay within the UK, what is wrong with that. Furthermore why should it prevent her from becoming Speaker of the House of Commons in the United Kingdom.

  • Pigeon Toes

    Doctor who
    In light of post#1 I would say “pot and kettle”.

  • Doctor Who

    Pigeon Toes

    I do not see how post one bares any relevance to my post. Please can you explain.

  • Dr Who, these guidance notes may help:

    The Department for Regional Development funds the Resident’s Pass Scheme to help
    permanent residents of the Island offset the cost of travel to and from the mainland to
    assist the economic and social sustainability of life on Rathlin.

    Who qualifies for a Resident’s Pass?

    If you are a permanent resident of Rathlin you are entitled to a Resident’s Pass if you
    meet the minimum residence requirement. This means that you must live on the Island
    for at least eight months in every twelve month period. If you cannot meet this basic
    requirement you are not entitled to a pass.
    The only exceptions to this requirement are for:
    I. School Children – who are in some form of weekly or term boarding at or
    linked to a school on the mainland;
    II. Students in Full Time Tertiary Education or a Full Time Recognised Training
    Course – when attending university, college or training course students will be
    entitled to a pass provided they are in full-time education.

    How do I prove that I am eligible?

    You must provide evidence of your permanent address through the provision of at
    least two of the following documents when making your initial application:
    9 A Bank or Building Society statement no more than three months old

  • PT, the Rathlin rip tide should ensure that the ‘moat’ doesn’t need cleaning 🙂

  • Pigeon Toes

    Dr who
    “Furthermore why should it prevent her from becoming Speaker of the House of Commons in the United Kingdom.”

    Hope that helps..

  • Doctor Who

    Nevin and pigeon toes.

    That might be very true and I have no reason to doubt you, but what relevance it has to my reply to Lurig is still escaping me boys. Lurig implied that because she is a Unionist it should disqualify her from the post of Speaker not because she might be marooned on Rathlin.