Sometimes I think the Dutch Judicial System has got the right idea about MPs and their connections with the Electorate. As in exactly how answerable the former are to the latter for their thoughts, actionsm and Government policies.
Let's face it - even though various UK Politicians have landed themselves in Court for various crimes - not one UK MP or Government Minister has landed in Court for what can be described as "Hate Speech" or any other form of discriminatory practices or policies.
On the other hand the Dutch MP, Geert Wilders, is now on his second Court case (that I know of) for whatever the Dutch would call "Inciting Racial Hatred".
Mr Wilders is the sole MP for the PVV (Partij voor de Vrijheid - or "Party for Freedom" in English) - just think UKIP on steroids.
Mr Wilders has only ever said one thing which I actually agree with, This was during his first Court case. He was speaking to the Judge (the Dutch "State" news broadcaster streamed the Court proceedings during his last trial) when he stated that he defended the Court's right to bring him to trial to answer for his remarks.
The reason I am so interested by the furore surrounding Mr Wilders is actually connected with the resignation of Iain Duncan Smith as Work and Pensions Secretary.
Mr Duncan Smith's reasons for resigning are beside the point as far as this blog post is concerned. What this blog post is concerned with is the apparent disconnect between the UK Government and the Electorate.
I have vague memories of a man called Michael Foot appearing on TV when I was little. Apparently he was the leader of the Labour Party at that point. From what I can remember he was almost ready for his pension when I first saw him.
At least he appeared to be a "man of the people".
With the current Parliament seeming to consist of either people who should not be anywhere near the House of Commons due to being sons and daughters of Lords, etc, or career Politicians with family money behind them - you will have to excuse me for asking how on Earth they can be accountable to people like me.
Even though the last Labour Governments had a very bad press - at least they had Ministers who had actually held down jobs in "the real world" - Estelle Morris was a teacher before she became an MP. They even had one Minister who was visibly disabled - David Blunkett being blind.
Where are the Government Ministers who have been lowly GPs or Police Officers, or who are visibly disabled?
As in - where are the Ministers who I could honestly say I feel can relate to me???
Why can I not start proceedings to take the Prime Minister to Court over some of his more discriminatory utterances regarding the Disabled and unemployed???
When will I be able to feel that my opinions - as someone who has to pay twice every time I buy a pair of glasses (the first time financislly and the second time thrugh discriminatory advertisements) - are going to be listened to by my MP and acted upon???
More to the point - when will the House of Commons finally have the guts to kick Messrs Cameron, Osborne, and the other children of Peers of the Realm out???
(I read a little bit about the fight and Court case that Anthony Wedgewood Benn - aka Tony Benn - had to go through in order to renounce his heriditory Peerage and become an MP. Unfortunately we seem to have gone too far the other way.)
Mr Wilders has just made inflamatory remarks about one section of the Dutch population and found himself hauled up in Court.
The UK Government have sprayed their brand of discriminatory policies indiscriminatorily (please excuse the pun) without one single trip to Court over them or their consequences. Instead the UK Government hide behind unaccountable Select Committees.
To me this is a long way from how true Democracy should work. My MP and my Government should represent me and my views - as well as being accountable to me when things go wrong.
If a Court Case in The Old Bailey or whichever Cour is deemed to be the highest Court in the UK is what it takes to remind the Government who they should be representing - as well as who their policies have the greatest effect on - I am all for it.
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