The Nolan Principles of Public Life – a travesty

If Westminster staff need protection from MPs then we are obviously electing the wrong people. Yet, unless they resign – which they rarely do – we cannot get rid of them. In local government we can’t get rid of a councillor even if he deliberately votes against his own party’s wishes (and when members of his own party then protect him after he has done so).

It is even more unlikely that any Conservative MPs will be made to resign – even if they admit to calling an employee “sugar tits” (no asterisks for Owl on this one) and ordering her to make his sex shop purchases – both of which an MP has allegedly admitted to doing – because of their precarious grasp on power. Power which is held only because of a £1 billion bribe to a so-called Christian-values-based party the DUP – with its strong links to the fundamentalist Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster.

There must be a way of local voters being able to deselect an MP (or a councillor) when he or she is shown to be totally unfit for office, surely? Even a prison sentence doesn’t stop someone being a councillor – it has to be for more than a year!

“There is a requirement to inform the House, if Members are arrested on
criminal charges, of the cause for which they are detained from their
service in Parliament. The House is also informed when a Member has been
committed to prison for a criminal offence. In such circumstances, the
Speaker would normally make an oral statement or lay a copy of the
letter on the Table. The Representation of the People Act 1981
disqualifies from membership of the House any serving Member detained
for any offence in the UK or the Republic of Ireland for more than a
year or detained indefinitely, and their seat becomes vacant.

The House of Commons Library has compiled a list of MPs imprisoned since
1979 …”

We obviously cannot rely on the Nolan Principles for Public Life to protect us at any level of government – local, regional or national.–2

One thought on “The Nolan Principles of Public Life – a travesty

  1. We will wait and see what St. Theresa does about the minister who called his secretary “sugar tits”.

    However, a few principles need to be applied:

    1. There needs to be and evidence-based independent and transparent review. No sweeping it under the carpet or fudging allowed.

    2. If there is sufficient evidence to show that a criminal act has occurred, the evidence must be passed to the police as a matter of course and NOT subject to political pressures.

    3. The evidence needs to be provided to the victim in case they want to bring their own civil case under e.g. employment law.

    4. If the review decides that there is evidence proving misconduct, Parliament needs to make whatever punishments are in their power (which probably falls short of stripping them of their seat – that would be a VERY dangerous precedent indeed). But they could lose their entitlement to salary, entitlement to payments for a 2nd home, refused end of “employment” compensation payments and be banned from Westminster for example – putting pressure on them to resign their seat. Again, this needs to be a matter of course and NOT subject to political pressures.

    5. Perhaps MP’s staff should cease to be employed by MPs, but instead employed by Parliament. This would give them greater rights and protections, avoid nepotism, and provide greater continuity of skills and knowledge of parliamentary procedures.


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