Opinion: What right do politicians have to decide rules on their own jobs?

The party funding report by the Committee for Standards in Public Life was barely off the printers and politicians from all parties were saying they were broadly supportive, but more importantly could not back the main suggestion that state funding of political parties be increased.

Party funding will always be tough to square given the reliance of Labour on union money and the Conservatives (and increasingly the Liberal Democrats) on major donors. State funding is inevitable to reduce sleaze, real or inferred, and trust in politics. It only costs  the equivalent of a couple of first class stamps a year, but that point will not be made.

Similarly, the Parliamentary Boundary Commissions were tasked with reducing the number of MPs and equalise voters in seats. Initial proposals in England were generally met with howls of protests by MPs and suggestions that Tory MPs can’t believe David Cameron backed it and voted for the EU referendum petition as a warning (and to pander to the Tory grassroots who’ll select them).

My issue with reports and recommendations on party funding, electoral boundaries, parliamentary expenses, parliamentary working hours and salaries is that the political parties decide what they will accept or not. But why should parliamentarians decide the rules of their employment? Why should political parties decide the rules in which they can and how campaign?

Politicians are making decisions on working practices of millions of civil servants to which they encounter opposition, but which ultimately the government gets a large proportion of their decisions through. I feel that with politics, politicians should not decide anything, they can be consulted but ultimately have to follow the recommendations of the independent reviews. They are independent for a reason.

Turkeys never vote for Christmas and MPs are no different!

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This entry was posted in Op-eds.


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