One Ring to rule them all….

[On Tuesday, May 24th], a debate took place in parliament regarding an absolutely crucial issue for the future of the UK and the financial well-being of its citizens: Mark Reckless MP proposed an anti-bailout motion that would have been the first strong anti-Euro (and with it – anti EU) sentiment expressed by the house in decades.

Many a strong word was spoken in the chamber earlier against the EU by many of the handful (circa 50) present – and by MPs from both sides of the aisle. For once I actually felt proud of the MPs participating, and I recommend you watch the debate on iplayer, or read the proceedings in Hansard tomorrow. It was such a sharp contrast to the puppet show that passes for the Prime Minister’s Question time and I had to fancy what Parliament would be like if these individuals occupied the front benches instead of the back.

Yet how many of those words will be carried by our ever useless peon media to the the ears and eyes of the masses? Instead the media will be perhaps focused on some prat who sought injunctions against revealing a relationship with a woman trying to extort him (and try finding *that* latter fact reported in the media….they would have known had they actually read the linked document….).

However this pleasant fantasy of a functioning representative democracy was soon blown to pieces as I remembered how Daniel Hannan had detailed the “wrecking amendment” put forward.

It didn’t matter what the attendees actually said. The whips ensured another 250 MPs turned up to guarantee it was the amended version that went through and not the original motion, turning what was a strongly worded motion into a wet-through general statement of discontent that the government can safely ignore.

I sometimes find it difficult containing my anger over such shenanigans in parliament – regarding how easily results can be ‘fixed’ in this fashion. I don’t remember sleeping in and missing the vote for which whips I wanted. Do you? And I find it intolerable that the people who both proposed the wrecking amendment and voted are not obliged to participate in the debate.

The People’s Pledge valiantly attempted to encourage people to write to their MPs beforehand to ask them to vote against the amendment. Would that doing so have had any effect in any case where the majority of MPs are concerned. Aside from the whipped MPs I note, with utter disgust, that ALL of the MPs from Sheffield (which has been my home for far too long now…) failed to even turn up to either the debate or the vote. So much for the salt-of-the-earth Labour MPs standing up for the working man and woman, eh? My current MP, Mr. Paul “I ran Sheffield University Student’s Union” Blomfeld, ignored my letter on the topic – as indeed he has done with the last few letters sent to him.

(UPDATE: One of my friends has just informed me that however  “Blomfield did manage to find the time to attend a drinks reception for Sheffield Union officers”)

The final vote was 267 to 46. Had it been just those present for the debate voting I am confident the original motion, not the amended version, would have been carried. Such is our utterly dysfunctional democracy and its attendant handmaiden Fourth Estate that not only did this happen, but it won’t even be reported.

It doesn’t matter what we think. It doesn’t matter what we want. It doesn’t even matter what most of our MPs do either.

The One Ring has called and the Nazgul are answering their master’s call.

8 comments for “One Ring to rule them all….

  1. derek M
    May 26, 2011 at 9:49 am

    If voters insist on voting for the same party evry time they go to vote, then it is not suprising that the MPs don’t bother to take any notice of the electorate. We must get away from thei “my party right or wrong” attitude, and return to the original principal that you vote for the candidate of your choice. Political parties were invented for the convienience of politicians, not the electorate. The traditional media have a lot to answer for in this respect, in that they emphasise party, not policies.

    Perhaps with the new media this might change, and the electorate start looking at all the candidates on a ballot paper, and what each individual stands for, rather than blindly voting for the same party, without a care about what they are actually voting for.

    • PT
      May 26, 2011 at 10:15 am

      Yes, it would be nice to indulge the luxury of voting for a candidate whom we personally consider principled, however minimal that candidate’s chance of election. But a lot of us feel obliged instead to cast a negative vote – to vote for any candidate at all, whatever his/her beliefs, provided that candidate has the best chance of defeating a party or policy we wholeheartedly oppose. This usually means voting for one of the main parties. This does not negate your point, but as things stand at present, is there any way to achieve what you (and many others!) would like to see, other than banning political parties? Good luck with that one.

    • Paul
      May 26, 2011 at 4:32 pm

      derek M: Perhaps with the new media this might change, and the electorate start looking at all the candidates on a ballot paper, and what each individual stands for, rather than blindly voting for the same party, without a care about what they are actually voting for.

      Then you’ve got the sort of case where you don’t like what the candidate of the party stands for but you do like what the national party’s policies are. So it’s not clear-cut.

  2. May 26, 2011 at 11:18 am

    “Tonight I was going to show you a spine and a pair of balls, but unfortunately I’ve dissected a Member of Parliament.”

    http://cazzyjones.blogspot.com/2011/05/eurozone-bailouts-spines-and-balls.html

    • May 27, 2011 at 6:34 am

      😀

  3. david
    May 26, 2011 at 11:56 am

    ‘Yet how many of those words will be carried by our ever useless peon media to the the ears and eyes of the masses?’

    http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/207207

    It is all a tad confusing…

  4. Ditherywig
    May 26, 2011 at 4:41 pm

    They just need to keep on chipping away. Eventually a large piece will fall off. Don’t despair, just keep going.

  5. May 26, 2011 at 5:53 pm

    Events unfolding since the vote last Tuesday, will I hope,prove this to be something of a turning point.

    The about face by the IMF today, demanding further guarantees from the Euro Group addressed to Juncker and carried on my blog, will throw the whole balance, just about looking secure after the vote in Finland’s Parliament yesterday, back into potential collapse.

    It seems to me that the IMF are signalling something about Greece and Ireland to the Euro Group. Cameron, Clegg and young Ed, are too distracted by what they read in our own comic press to understand what is going on beyond their bubble!

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