Friday, 9 April 2010

A Parliament - Accountable to us, accountable to all of us and accountable only to us.

Accountability is starting to deliver - with FoI blowing open the dark inner workings of our archaic parliamentary system at Westminster.

It is starting to work as we get live twitter feeds during debates and the public summing up and taking further action (open letters, MPs being made aware that we are watching and listening etc). And we are getting a very clear understanding that legislation (the laws to which we are subject) are now being made so complex that those passing them in parliament don't understand them.

We had our 'glorious revolution' in the late 1600's. It established our modern parliamentary system and now (if we chose) we can continue with a 'glorious digital/communications revolution' to call that parliamentary system to the the public's' heel (where it was always meant to be).

It is this new wave of national accountability that makes our old-school MPs uncomfortable and makes the unaccountable, unaudited, EU such an attractive proposition for them.

Ever since I can remember the EU has been 'reforming' - but somehow, it just gets ever further from where it should be.

This revolution isn't complete and shows signs of failing. That failing was clearly demonstrated by the passing of the Digital Economy Bill, passing 'DEBILL' showed a fundamental lack of understanding of digital communications but worse contempt for the public.

This is the same contempt that allowed all parties to promise that we would not be subject to an EU Constitution with out a referendum - but now here we are, subject to the Lisbon Treaty with no referendum having been had.

But if there was nothing left to do then I wouldn't need to get involved by standing for election in the first place.

There is a glorious opportunity here, but it is still only an opportunity, and it could easily slip through our fingers.

Why dig into my own pocket to fund the campaign, turn away clients, flush away my pipeline of upcoming work, take the grief, risk future work opportunities (I hope most people can separate personal, professional and political life, but not all will)?

Why do that for a (reported) 40:1 shot at actually getting elected? And even then, elected to go and work in London, commuting or being allowed to charge for a poky flat - when I already have a great home here with my family, I can work looking out the window at my lovely garden, or nip upstairs and mess around in the studio for a bit when ever I like?

I am doing it because if we miss this opportunity, and my kids eventually ask me what I was doing as it flashed past, Instead of saying "I whinged about it online a bit", I can give them a decent answer "I got off my arse and and gave 100,000 people the chance to have their say".

Whether my kids will ask me this in a UK that is free and independent, run by its people for its people, or whether they will be asking me in the former-UK a minor province of the EU run by EUcrats we have yet to see.

If the people of the UK are galvinised, they can get whatever they want.

The english civil war was the last major opportunity and we made some great strides - moving power from remote unaccountable individuals and groups into a parliament elected by the people.

But that power has been allowed to drift away from parliament to remote unaccountable individuals and groups in brussles. This election is an opportunity to stop that rot and return that power to parliament. Not only that, but to make parliament properly accountable to the people and where possible to put power directly back in the hands of the people.

If we can't make our own parliament accountable, then how on earth does anyone think we can make the eu/brussels accountable?!?!

But if we can make it accountable (and we almost have) then as our parliament it should be accountable to us, accountable to all of us and accountable only to us.

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