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Any government needs an effective opposition

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treaclefight | 21:17 Mon 28th Jul 2003 | News
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The tory party is supposed to be the main opposition to the labour government, yet the main force holding up the government's actions to examination is the media. I don't think any governemt can effectively govern without justifying it's actions to someone, but i think it should be done in parliament. I would argue strongly that the media too should question the actions of the governement on behalf of the genral public but there is nothing forcing the government to take this into account and no direct penalties for manipulation or dishonesty such as there are for misleading parliament. It concerns me that unless there is some effective opposition in parliament, the country will end up being run by a non-elected group of media editors, maybe it is already, whatever is going on, it's not politics and it's not cricket. Prize for the longest rant in agreement or opposition to this.


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Treacle first attempt exceeded 2000 words so it got rejected here goes in two parts [1] There are too many MPs in the commons all with their own agenda/aim or goal. Their views are not usually the view of the people who elected them - eg how many people are in favour of capital punishment, given that the evidence against the culprit was rock solid ' did your MP reflect this in the last debate, or request for a referendum?. Then we have to wait for another four years or so to boot them out and get some other wassock in charge. [2] The Tories are pretty naff in opposition, and they don't seem that bothered with anything our Tone & co dream up. Perhaps they know they'll not be back in power for a good while. Personally I distrust any politician [you know they're lying the minute their mouths are open] [3] Our second house - the Lord's seem to be a bunch of sleepy old gits who are more concerned with pomp & circumstance than actually doing anything useful. Shame Guy Fawkes & co didn't succeed. My solution, an MP for each county, working Monday to Friday, six weeks holiday a year, like the rest of us. On the minimum wage per hour. No freebie perks - like employing wife/mistress/lover as researcher/secretary. No subsidised canteen - let them pay like the rest of us do for lunch. All of them on a productivity salary bonus scheme, ie if they don't deliver the goods - running the NHS, Trains, Schools, Roads etc efficiently then they don't get paid. Then take the same policy through the Lords [including don't turn up for a full day's work then no pay] then into Brussels. Publish the full figures of how much we actually are paying for such a glorious gravy train, and not a sexed up massaged version of them. End the "off the record lobby briefings" and "a spokesman said" That way we might get somewhere. Tell it to us straight - as in "Yes I c*cked up there" or "No, the truth is..."
part two I think we are completely over governed and that's without borough & county councils getting in on the act. If the full cost of the bureaucracy was revealed things would change. There's way too much back scratching & buggins turn going on [vote for this & your constituency gets a new hospital, school ' or more likely you get a knighthood, cushy job etc]. There's seemingly little or no comeback on them when they make a cods of something, apart from losing a post, they don't get fined, sacked as an MP. As for the media, best use I find for it is [a] lining the cat litter tray, wrapping up fish & chips and the only reason I watch/listen to the news is for the weather [that's usually wrong too!]. They occasionally do a good job ' exposing the paedo's, crooks & swindlers; then undo it by making a cack of something else like the David Kelly scenario when he's hounded to his death.
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excellent paulz, i love the concept of being over governed, i will be using that phrase lots. i'm not entirely sure anyone would go for the job of politician if it was changed in the way you suggest, but people do keep going into nursing and teaching so there probably is enough people with a social conscience to keep the country going. our opinions of the media seem to be identical, even the broadsheets are beoming sensationalist headline grabbers, i think i might start spending my newspaper money on something more beneficial to me, like cigarettes :-)
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lol, didnt mean to give myself stars, thought it was pualz answer as i scrolled down, silly girl :o)
Thanks for that, I think what really gets my goat [like you couldn't guess] is that the MPs are [on paper anyway] our mouthpiece/servants. It'll be a cold day in hell when they start acting the part.If they did take on my requests/wishes then at least we'd get people who would be doing the job for the right reason not just the "badge & perks" Feel much better for that rant! Perhaps an MP would care to jump in to this thread?? Dare you...
The country is already run by media execs to an extent in that the government of the day cannot afford to alienate them because of the influence they hold. It has to be remembered that they ( media companies) are run as businesses and are in existence to make a profit and they will not support anything that interferes with this aim which means that their advertisers interests will be protected. Also, the real power players in media terms are few and far between and hold enormous power, e.g. Rupert Murdoch. Any editor who crossed him would find his or her job opportunities severely limited. The only media organisation that the government can bully is the BBC because of its funding arrangements which gives credibility to the BBC when they oppose the governmrnt point of view. I totally agree with your question and wish the UK parliament could adopt the PR system as they have in Scotland, which has a number of Green party MPs. This system seems to include a wider range of opinion and a forum for a variety of viewpoints to be expressed. I imagine neither of the two main parties would be in favour of this as it would dilute their power.T. Blair has no incentive whatsoever to alter the status quo.
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lots of good points woodpam, i have often heard the criticism that proportional representation results in difficult decision making and potentially hung parliaments, but i think decision making is a little too easy for this government and i would certainly like to see some pressure from political sources like the green party who'se priorities are anything but winning the next general election. :-)
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