Thursday, 1 July 2010

Why ask if you're going to ignore the answer?

The BBC has been asking members of the public what laws they would repeal in a "Great Repeal Bill" following the launch of a new website fronted by Nick Clegg asking members of the public which laws they would do away with.

I imagine that most UKIP members - and, in fact, most members of the public - would put the European Communities Act at or near the top of the list.  So if leaving the EU comes out top of the wishes on this new website, we can expect the British government to start making arrangements to leave, right?  After all, Cleggy says "For the first time in a long time, government is listening and we'll put the best suggestions into practice" so it's reasonable to assume that Cleggy and Cast Iron Dave are going to listen to the electorate and when it's clear that voters think leaving the EU is the best suggestion, we can expect them to do the honourable thing, yes?
Presenter: You saw some of the ideas there and you know this is a very basic straw poll but it's probably resonating with quite a few people. Will you take any notice?

Cleggy: Well I don't think we can scrap football and I don't think we can sort of get rid of Europe but look we're turning things on its head. The traditional way of doing things is that government tells people what to do, that's the old way of doing things. We're saying tell us what you don't want us to do. We've already made a big start. We're already scrapping ID cards, we're gonna scrap rules, these vetting and barring rules that were stopping people from just helping their neighbours children, we're gonna stop the fingerprinting of children in schools without parental permission. We're doing a lot of these things already but we want to hear more from people and if you go online it'll be the biggest online crowd sourcing initiative by any government ever and it'll really I think get the ball rolling to get people involved and to make people feel they're in charge as well.

Presenter: So you get ideas in but what level of support does it take then for you to do something about it?  I mean if enough people said we want to get out of Europe on that site you'd have to do something about it wouldn't you?

Cleggy: No. Look, clearly as the lady said on the programme at the end of the day the government needs to decide. The key thing about this is that while ministers might be able to disagree with some of the suggestions, the suggestions will be out there.
Cleggy, like so many other politicians, seems to have forgotten that they are our servants, not the other way round.  They are elected to represent our interests and run the country how we want it run.  If most of us want out of the EU - and we do - then it is not for MPs to decide otherwise.