Peter Reynolds

The life and times of Peter Reynolds

Why Do They Always Get The Good Ones?

with one comment

 

Not all MPs are paragons like Sir Michael Amess and Jo Cox

There’s been a lot of talk over the past few days about how face-to-face meetings between MPs and constituents are the ‘foundation of British democracy’. It’s a nice idea and if only it were true. The reality is that far too many MPs do all they can to avoid meeting constituents, particularly if it’s about a subject that doesn’t interest them or where they are being asked to discuss and then represent a point of view with which they disagree.

I know this from bitter experience over many years, helping medicinal cannabis patients try and gain their MP’s support as they were ignored, refused appointments and disrespected, sometimes with great cruelty. Many of those MPs are still in Parliament and most of them are now eager to be seen as supporters of medicinal cannabis. Some are now claiming credit for reform of the law and holding themselves out as being in the vanguard of the campaign!

Of course there are some excellent MPs who take their job seriously, genuinely provide service to their constituents and the country but these are far from the majority.

No one, whatever their conduct, deserves the fate that befell Sir Michael and Jo Cox but the deification of our politicians, which our ridiculous and fickle media has rushed into in the last few days, overlooks a long history of self-serving corruption, laziness, arrogance and dereliction of duty to constituents, sometimes over many decades.

What we need is a complete reset of the way MPs work and their relationship with constituents. Perhaps that does require better security and I would have no objection to protective screens and even armed police officers. I know that the patients I have represented would have seen that as a small price to actually get some access and the attention they deserved. Yet again though, I think MPs treat themselves better than the rest. Many people face danger in their work. I think traffic wardens are probably assaulted more often than MPs.

The police give far higher priority to online abuse and threats to MPs than they do to you and me. Indeed, when I, as a very minor ‘public figure’ was subject to years of abuse and threats, the police first told me I had to put up with it precisely because I was a public figure. It took weeks of pressure from me and my lawyers before they started issuing harassment warnings.

I’d like to see standards of service for MPs with clear obligations to meet constituents, how long they take to reply to emails, etc. There should be a proper complaints system with real sanctions for MPs who fall short. While ministers spend their lives evading questions and hiding behind bureaucracy and crown immunity, if an elector can’t get a straight answer they should be entitled to a full and proper response from their department.

There’s a fatal flaw in this idea though. To get it through, MPs would have to vote on it, so there’s no chance of it, ever!

Written by Peter Reynolds

October 18, 2021 at 4:04 pm

Posted in Politics

Tagged with , , ,

One Response

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  1. I do hope I am proven wrong but I suspect that this latest attack will be used as a “justification” to increase unaccountability and thus will alienate constituents even more from their politicians or MP#s, the corrupt parasitic members of government will benefit mightily at the expense of those who genuinely serve their constituents.

    Shaun O'Connor

    October 18, 2021 at 5:22 pm


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