Friday, March 20, 2009

Schools out...

Anyone who has ever accidentally switched over to BBC Parliament while looking for the news will have noticed that, for the centre of political debate and the Mother of Parliaments, the Commons chamber gets pretty damned empty.  Except for PMQs, there’s hardly ever anyone in the place.  As Paul Waugh notes today, as a result of both the bodged Cook/Straw reforms and the rather apathetic nature of Labour backbenchers, the Chamber is running effectively a three day week – not to mention the socking great recesses.

Waugh reckons that the place needs a reform-minded Speaker and a reform-minded Commons leader to make sure we get real value for money once again.  I suspect that what’s needed is a Government that needs to pay more attention to Parliament both because its majority is less assured than the current lot and because they’ll be forced to take unpopular and difficult decisions.  In other words, this is a problem that will partially solve itself…

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