Speaker says Parliament must reach out to public

December 4, 2009

I saw this article on the BBC from a few days ago and thought it was interesting that John Bercow, the Speaker of the House is urging parliament to find ways to better reach out to the public – especially after the expenses scandal.

He suggests that select committees are the best way for parliament to do that as “they instinctively look at issues which matter enormously but do not organise themselves in party political packages”.

That may be true once MPs are in Parliament, but surely we need to look at how to make the whole system one which the electorate has more faith in – and I still believe that independent candidates and ultimately MPs are the best way to do that.

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No Response from The Jury Team

December 3, 2009

UPDATE: I have now been contacted by someone from The Jury Team. He said he sent me an email on 30th Nov, although I didn’t receive it. So if I have mis-represented their desire to get in touch I apologise.

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After the recent BBC1 programme called Make me an MP I wrote a post called The Jury Team fails to ‘Make Me an MP’ and I was pleased to receive comments from someone who had been involved in the campaign to get John Smeaton elected.

In the comments they didn’t agree with the points I’d made in my post – but that’s all good discussion. However it was one phrase at the end of the comment that was particularly interesting to me: “I wouldn’t try to analyse a political party on the basis of a sensationalised and inaccurate BBC documentary.”

And that is at the nub of my suspicion of The Jury Team – it looks to me that it is a political party trying to enter politics almost by the back door. It claims to support independents, but instead I feel that it wants unaffiliated candidates and wants to build a party that way. Obviously very different from truly supporting independents.

I don’t want to ‘bash’ The Jury Team and if it is genuine in its support of true independents then I’m happy to support it as much as possible – it clearly has more budget than I do to effect change. However, I’m just not convinced …

So, in my comments I said this:

“I’d love to chat about this further – either on here or even face-to-face (I did ask The Jury Team for a meeting a long time, but have been ignored). If The Jury Team is genuine about helping genuine independents, then I’d be happy to help them. I suspect it’s not, but I’d be happy to been shown otherwise.”

And someone, claiming to be able to get in touch with The Jury Team got in touch and we exchanged emails offline and then … well … nothing.

So this is an open request to The Jury Team to get in touch so we can discuss how we could support each (if they genuinely want independent MPs).

Please contact me at independent.mps@googlemail.com or on Twitter @independent_mps

I’ll sit and wait …