James Forsyth

This disdain is a result of far more than expenses

This disdain is a result of far more than expenses
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One thing that the new Speaker must remember is that the expenses scandal has hardened—not created—the public’s contempt for Parliament. As Camilla Cavendish writes today,

“one of the reasons public anger goes a lot deeper than Sir Peter Viggers's duck pond is because we feel we can no longer change our laws by voting out politicians. The EU machine marches on, constraining everything from the future of the Post Office to what vitamins we can take. The promised referendum on the Lisbon treaty has been ditched. The quango nanny state has acquired a momentum of its own. Politicians have given away powers that they held in trust for the people. They cannot be altogether surprised if people now lump them all together in impotent fury.”

In our leader this week, we say that “the public’s loss of respect for Parliament can be traced back to Parliament’s loss of respect for itself.” If Parliament is to regain the public trust, it must start standing up for its own prerogatives.

Written byJames Forsyth

James Forsyth is Political Editor of the Spectator. He is also a columnist in The Sun.

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