Monday, 5 March 2012

Another 'look' at Ukip's 'New' Policies

Following on from my previous post, another aspect of Ukip's 'New' policy document raises yet another problem with me and this one is to do with the subject of the recall of MPs. We all know that political manifestos are worded in such loose terms as to be virtually meaningless and that that which is promised, when realised, bears no relation to the original promise.

Consider the Coalition's promise contained in their Programme for Government (paqe 27) in which was 'promised':
"We will bring forward early legislation to introduce a power of recall, allowing voters to force a by-election where an MP is found to have engaged in serious wrongdoing and having had a petition calling for a by-election signed by 10% of his or her constituents."
As we all know now, that 'power of recall' is dependent on a committee of an MP's peers agreeing to the demands of a constituency - in other words voters can force squat-diddly!

Now consider Ukip's 'promise' contained in their document "The Constitution", in which it is stated:
"Introduce a right of recall whereby electors can challenge an errant MP and force a by-election in exceptional circumstances, such as abuse of expenses"
I have to ask what, exactly, is the difference twixt the two? Does not that of Ukip imply that it will not be the electorate's decision? Does that not imply that the present situation, whereby politicians 'look after their own', will continue?

How about political parties 'spelling out' that which they mean, when issuing 'promises'? How about Ukip doing likewise - or are they too, despite their Libertarian claims, a practitioner and believer of 'central control'? How about Ukip learning from the errors of another party?

Digressing slightly, Dougas Carswell complains today about civil servants 'controlling' ministers and calls for civil servants and ministers to appear before the relevant Select Committee to justify their annual budget with the proviso that no approval means no fee. Should not 'Government' also appear before their electorate for approval of their spending plans on the same basis of no approval, no fee? If Ukip maintain that they are a party for 'small government', should not that aspect of 'Referism' also be part of their manifesto?

Helen, Your Freedom and Ours, posts on Ukip and queries their lack of strategy. As I have commented, Ukip's problem appears to be that they believe the word 'strategy' is spelt F A R A G E! One can but hope that Alexandra Swann may be able, without ruffling too many feathers, to change their strategy!

Not another amendment to something which they have, allegedly, been doing since 2010....?


PeterCharles said...

"Does that not imply that the present situation, whereby politicians 'look after their own', will continue?"

Of course it doesn't, the purpose of this kind of legislation is not to pass power to the voter or to allow them to look after their own, it is to give the party bosses, i.e. Cameron and the Whips, another weapon to keep errant MPs in line, 'do as you're told or there might be repercussions like a vote for a recall'. First they brief the press to stir up a sense of outrage, wait for someone to start the petition, a local activist if all else fails, as long as it isn't obviously traceable back to the party, then look all sad and disappointed and 'reluctantly' set up a recall. If the MP has really p!ssed the party hierarchy off they'll probably deselect them at the same time.

Of course there could be a lot of fun with this, just wait until local opposition activists realise there is another weapon to embarrass the other lot with and generate press headlines whenever ant MP says or suggests anything outrageous, like an MP calling a three times a day promiscuous political activist a 'slut', or any little peccadilloes come to light.

WitteringsfromWitney said...

PC: Accepting that which you write in your second paragraph is correct, then surely it does mean that the practice of politicians looking after their own will continue.

Or have I misunderstood you? Or have you misunderstood me?

PeterCharles said...

It's both, WfW. On the one hand they want recall to increase the hold of the party on power, both internally and in government, while on the other hand it needs to have some kind of 'reset' mechanism so that they can either change their minds at the last minute or protect their own should the system be used as an attack against them.

The one thing it is NOT intended to do is give any real power or authority to the public. Of course the people they WILL be giving real power to is the MSM. If you think they were both terrified of and sucking up to Murdoch in the past wait until the press is empowered by recall.

When it belatedly sinks in that have indeed given real power to the press there will be panic, assuming they haven't already arranged for the press to be muzzled post Leverson.

WitteringsfromWitney said...

PC: They have obviously already worked out how they intend muzzling the press post Leveson! They're politicians!

PeterCharles said...

I wouldn't be confident of that WfW. Politicians are notable for low cunning, not intelligence, and very few look farther than tomorrow's headlines.

Have you not noticed how they bollox up everything they touch? That's sarcasm in case you didn't notice.