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Hyph
27th Apr 2014, 18:22
A BBC News article (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-27180654) about the HS2 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HS2) Bill going through its second reading in Parliament suggests that the Bill is unstoppable.

The article mentions how several Conservative Members of Parliament are likely to rebel against the Government, but their rebellion is meaningless if Labour support the Bill, which is the expected outcome.

From the news article:

Former Wales secretary Cheryl Gillan has tabled a cross-party amendment to block the Bill and vowed to vote against the second reading. She said: "There is no doubt that with all three parties whipped to support HS2, there is no chance to stop it.

I got to wondering how the Whip system (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whip_(politics)) could be compatible with the UK Bribery Act (http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2010/23/contents).

Members of Parliament are representatives of the public. They are in a position of trust, have a duty to act in good faith and to do so impartially. The Whip is seeking to disrupt this through inducements and punishments.

Interfering with "a function of a public nature", inducing MPs to perform improperly and rewarding such improper performance is surely against both the letter and the intent of the law and almost certainly against the interests of the public (a minor transgression).

Will this be the next big political scandal? If not, why not?

jimtherev
27th Apr 2014, 18:42
Consider this, however:
Bill Bloggs knows his local candidate is a t0sser of the first water, but has always voted for his party. (As did his father and grandfather before him, unto the seventh generation.)

Would Bill not be aggrieved if said candidate suddenly declared he had a conscience, and was going to vote against the party line. Would Bill not consider this a betrayal of the (admittedly minimal) trust placed in his MP?

Fox3WheresMyBanana
27th Apr 2014, 19:47
Members of Parliament are representatives of the public

Members of Parliament are nominally representatives of the public

Fixed that for you, and it answers your question.

Representative democracy, without a right of recall, is a limited term elected dictatorship. MPs are effectively under no obligations whatsoever to represent anyone, so can represent themselves or anyone/group they choose. Guess what, they often support whatever the party leader wants. They cannot accept bribery, but you try proving that a cushy non-exec directorship/Lordship, etc awarded 6 months after a vote is actually bribery.

As an example of how recall can work,try here
British Columbians reject HST in referendum | Toronto Star (http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2011/08/26/british_columbians_reject_hst_in_referendum.html)

Gertrude the Wombat
27th Apr 2014, 20:35
If you don't like the whip system you can always vote for an independent.

This has a number of possible disadvantages:

(1) You have to find out what s/he's about for yourself, rather than being able to rely on tribal prejudices, which is more work than just voting the same-old way without bothering to switch your brain on.

(2) Ony a limited number of policy areas can be covered in manifestos, leaflets etc so you might be surprised by your independent's unexpected views and behaviour on some issues that weren't documented before the election.

(3) Chances are extremely high that they won't get elected anyway, because (barring a small number of very special cases) it takes a party machine to get elected.

Hyph
27th Apr 2014, 21:37
It matters not that MPs are nominal representatives. They hold a public office.

And it is no secret that the Whip system works on the basis of rewards and punishments.

Sounds like corruption and bribery to me.

Fox3WheresMyBanana
27th Apr 2014, 21:40
It can sound like bribery and corruption as much as you like, but they don't really give a stuff unless you can prove it's illegal in a court of law - and remember who writes the laws.

Standard Noise
27th Apr 2014, 21:43
Oh, I thought this was about a good night out..................

Fox3WheresMyBanana
27th Apr 2014, 21:44
that would be whips with a small 'w', presumably for Tory MPs with a very small 'w'.

ExSp33db1rd
28th Apr 2014, 04:53
"Democracy is the worst form of government, except all the others that have been tried." Winston Churchill

acbus1
28th Apr 2014, 06:47
I've raised this more than one on this collective-gathering-of-comments consigned-to-oblivion-once-they-reach-page-3.

...often in tandem with my conclusion that the UK is not a democracy.

And the whole disgraceful theatre (music hall more like) it's costing us all a fortune in tax.

Guy Fawkes anyone?

Pinky the pilot
28th Apr 2014, 08:26
Guy Fawkes anyone?

Well, at least he entered Parliament with honest intentions!:D:E

teeteringhead
28th Apr 2014, 12:37
Representative democracy, without a right of recall, is a limited term elected dictatorship. MPs are effectively under no obligations whatsoever to represent anyone, so can represent themselves or anyone/group they choose. Fox3WMB has it exactly right.

A number of MPs have even "crossed the floor" and changed party alleigance while serving, without the legal (or apparently moral) need to consult anyone, let alone the PB constituents.

Some chap called Churchill did it once too ..........

Edited to add: ... and a surprising 4 members have done it in the last 15 years:

Shaun Woodward (1999) - Conservative to Labour
Paul Marsden (2001) - Lib Dem to Labour
Robert Jackson (2005) - Conservative to Labour
Quentin Davies (2007) - Conservative to Labour

...wonder how their constituents felt!

funfly
28th Apr 2014, 13:05
...often in tandem with my conclusion that the UK is not a democracy.

The UK is not a democracy, why does everyone keep thinking that?

The UK is a Monarchy, our government report to the Queen, the Army's loyalty is to the Queen. Cameron is 'the Queen's first minister'.

That's not just my elderly mumblings, officially we are a Monarchy.

FF

Edited to add…
It's not simply theoretical;
Cameron has to go to the Queen to resign, not us.
Cameron has to visit the Queen in person every week to report.
Charles has vetoed some 14 bills that were presented to the House of Commons because they affected his area (Cornwall). Bills with any influence on his area have to be submitted to him and he has absolute right of veto.
Just a few examples to indicate the reality.

pigboat
28th Apr 2014, 14:01
"Democracy is the worst form of government, except all the others that have been tried." Winston Churchill

Careful there Ex. If you go quoting Sir Winston you just may get a visit from the coppers.

SteynOnline: The Churchill Bust. (http://www.steynonline.com/6296/the-churchill-bust)