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There's more than one faith here

Regular readers of The Kitchen will know that your humble Devil generally approves of Douglas Carswell MP. Today, Carswell has urged Michael Martin to set a date for his departure as Speaker ("today" would be a good date, I feel); however, he repeats a canard that I have heard too many times before.
"We need to clean up Westminster politics and take action to restore faith in our political system," he wrote in the Mail on Sunday.

Look, the MPs are not our political system, OK? They are merely persons operating within the system.

There are a whole load of problems with our MPs and there are problems with our political system, but they are not one and the same. Attempting to get MPs who are not irredeemably corrupt might help restore some faith in those MPs, but it will not restore faith in the political system itself.

The political system is utterly buggered, but ensuring that MPs cannot screw us over will not actively help there; leaving the EU might help—on the grounds that our political system is pointless whilst we are a member—but even that would only be a start.

It is true that both our political system and our MPs share some problems—are corrupt to the core—but the two should never be conflated in terms of solutions.


The political system is what encourages MPs to be corrupt, such are the opportunities to do so. If the system gets fixed, it will be impossible for MPs to screw the taxpayer or abuse their position.
JuliaM said…
No, it won't be impossible. It'll be immeasurably harder, it's true, but never underestimate the hunger for power and wealth in a politician...
Anonymous said…
There may have been once a desire to serve the public, an altruistic wish to improve the lot of the people of these islands, but for some time politics has slowly developed a gravy train and plenty of ne'er do wells want to climb on board.

It makes a useful career for these people. First they get to spout lots of "good" words and publicly announce splendid ideas. Then they can sit back and do very little (other than a few meetings with constituents and make sure your family-staff are employed answering irritating letters) and look forward to a good life with unquestioned expenses and unearned beneifts, plus best of all no great responsibilities.

You see, it isn't their fault: they just follow the whip and simply miss any 'debates' on matters of genuine concern where votes of conscience are counted.

There is a real prospect too of being able to cash in further with newspaper articles and TV appearances, maybe the odd book, after-dinner engagements, a sense of "celebrity" and achievement.

Afterwards, perhaps a seat on a few boards of directors or even (perish the thought) the desire to serve the public anew by being given a place on the Euro gravy train or better still maybe something cosy from the UN.

So while public service pays so well, with such real prospect of not having to do any work, sorry to say talk of "cleaning up" is just more hot air.
Budgie said…
The corruption of MPs is diverting attention from the corruption of MEPs.
Robin said…
Dont forget the malignant influence of the top civil servants.

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