Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Budget savings....

I hear on the Radio that Mister Cameron, leader of the Conservative Party, thinks that cutting the number of MP's and streamlining the cost of Parliament will help save some money toward the huge Budget Deficit the Labour Party have, in classic Labour mismanagement style, built up. While I applaud the suggestion of a reduction in the numbers of parasites trying to justify their existence with ever more nuisamce and pointless legislation, I am also concerned at the suggestion that the present set up demonstrates that we live in a "robust" and "effective" democracy.

I do not believe that our "democracy" is either democratic or robust. The current ballot system of allowing the electorate to vote if they feel like it and the "winner takes all" system of vote counting is not democratic and is certainly not representative. We need, if people are to start believing in the system again, to have every vote cast count and go toward electing a representative. Every vote must count and voting should not be a matter of personal choice, it should be a Civic Duty.

A smaller more efficient Parliament would certainly save some money for the Treasury, but more importantly, we also need to trim the vast horde of Civil Servants back as well. The Civil Service is the single largest political force in the land and it is entirely unelected. It is single-handedly responsible for all of the waste and for the frustration of real democracy in this country. Never miond what Parliament or the Minister has decreed, what happens is what the Civil Service will allow.

If Mr Cameron is serious about reforming Parliament and making significant savings in the cost of government here are my suggestions for him.
1. Reduce the Civil Service and make the Mandarins that run it personally responsible for the delivery, on time and on budget of any project under their control and for the delivery of exactly the wishes of Parliament.
2. Reduce the number of MP's - possibly by deleting the Scottish MPs who no longer represent they people they purport to govern as the Scottish Parliament now rules in Scotland and the Welsh Assembly in Wales - why should they vote on matters affecting only the English?
3. Freeze all non-specialist positions and recruiting in the Civil Service and forbid the appointment of anyone to any "management" position who is not a specialist in the field to be managed.
4. Close the Civil Service College.
5. Re-organise all the Departments of State and make it law that there is to be full co-operation between departments with no department permitted to duplicate any regulation or other legislation which already exists and could be extended to cover their activity.
6. Create a permanent legislation scrutiny Commission with power to reject any legislation if it already exists, may conflict with existing legislation or may impinge upon any of our constitutional "Rights".
7. Appoint a Commission to consolidate all existing legislation in the UK, streamline it and make recommendations for the repeal of all duplicating legislation or conflicting laws.

Finally, it is ludicrous that the Treasury's annual round of "savings" demanded across the board in government departments invariably result in increased spending. Departments must be compelled to take full account and responsibility for the consequences of their actions, particularly when a cut in budget is being proposed. All too often a cut in, for example, defence purchases results in job losses and an increase in the Social Security budget which is disproportionate to the supposed "saving" made in the original "cut".

Parliamentary credibility? No way, not as long as it is run by politicians, for politicians and by politicians. And the same goes for Whitehall and the Civil Service. Trustworthy they are not.

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