In which I disagree with Peter Oborne

Not all that unusual of course:

In any other profession, the three errant MPs would have been shown the door

The first involves Eric Joyce, Labour MP for Falkirk, who head-butted a Conservative MP and caused damage and mayhem in the Strangers Bar of the House of Commons. At a later date he wrestled two policemen to the ground during a karaoke night at the Sports and Social Bar. There was another episode in an airport, but that is a complicated story and need not detain us here.

The second concerns the Conservative Patrick Mercer, who was exposed by BBC Panorama and the Telegraph for accepting £4,000 (by a reporter pretending to represent the Fiji government) to ask parliamentary questions.

The third case is the most topical: the Lib Dem Mike Hancock, who has been accused of making a series of inappropriate advances towards a female constituent suffering from mental health problems.

This is a democracy you know and the drunks, corrupt and perverts have every right to representation.

As of course do the idiots and the clueless but we’ve already got the Labour and Green parties to handle them.

12 thoughts on “In which I disagree with Peter Oborne”

  1. “Oborne” is very similar to “Odone”. Considering the remarkably similar airheadedness of their colums, I suspect that one of them is the other in drag.

  2. I’d consider voting for Eric Joyce as my local MP, were I given the option. Particularly if he stood as an independent. I know he’s been nicked for various fairly minor crimes, but by and large he seems to take the job seriously, and say reasonably sane things, especially for a lefty.

    Mike Hancock on the other hand sounds to me like he should be serving time at HM’s pleasure, rather than as an MP.

    Surely the solution to all this is a power of recall. Say 15% of the electorate have to sign a recall notice, and then a byelection is held. Maybe such a notice can only be issued once per MP between general elections, to prevent malicious abuse of the system.

    Can’t see it being passed by the honorable members however, too many would be worried they might did themselves subject to such a procedure. (Would have thought Tim Yeo would be out on his ear very fast if such a measure ever became law).

  3. Tim Almond: The problem is that too many people think it is.

    theProle: If they did pass it, a recalled MP would get an automatic peerage.

  4. I’d consider voting for Eric Joyce as my local MP, were I given the option. Particularly if he stood as an independent.

    Oor Eric is my local MP and the only time I’d vote for him is in the outrageously unlikely possibility that Thomas Gibbon’s suggestion in the next thread is put in place. He is not a nice person and certainly not a gentleman.

  5. Fair enough. If I was local, (I’m not) I might well know enough about him to take that view too.

    Perhaps that just make my point better – instead of some bureaucratic decision that these guys sold be booted out (which I guess is what Oborne wants) by some committee which won’t be all knowing or all wise(Rather like the way that I don’t know all that much about Eric Joyce), we should have a system where if local voters are hacked off enough that their choice of MP is no longer fit and proper, they can have a byelection…

  6. instead of some bureaucratic decision that these guys sold be booted out …


    These people are elected to office. Let’s look at what we don’t want for removal of MPs – as that might help sort it out.

    1. We don’t want it to be automatic at too low a level.

    2. We don’t want it to be in the hands of the Parties. Or, frankly the Speaker or any representative body of members of Parliament. We already know they aren’t to be trusted.

    3. We don’t want it in the hands of the bureaucracy.

    So, what does that leave us? Either the mob, the media (to the very limited extent that those two differ) or the electors.

    I’ll just head off into the corner to practice my Wolfie Smith salutes, shall I?

  7. An old and boring joke, Tim. If there were a constituency called Drunken Twats South, or Perveshire, you’d have a point – or, I suppose, if there were PR, and Joyce or Yeo stood for the Shameless Troughers Party.

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