Tag Archives: UK

“Order, Questions to the Prime Minster”

Prime Minsters Question’s is often talked about as the “shop window” of politics, the most watched debate of the parliamentary week and frankly it’s an embarrassment. The constant braying and shouting by Government and Opposition MPs and the sniping between the Leader of Opposition and the Prime Minster must fuel the public’s disillusionment with politics.

One of the few things I agree with newly enthroned Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, on is the need to change PMQs and end the pantomime it has become. This is what he told the Huffington Post after his election:

“I want Prime Minister’s Question Time to be less theatre, more fact, less theatrical, more understandable. I think it’s very exciting for political obsessives, it’s utterly boring for most of the population, who think it’s an utter irrelevance.”

If you’ve ever watched any other Ministerial Question Time you will often see a friendly rapport between Shadow and Government ministers, in which considerable care and attention is given to answering questions. Thus allowing the opposition to actually hold the Government to account – the Prime Minster could learn something from that!

Corbyn needs to do something very quickly to improve PMQs, he needs to tell his party to stop braying and shouting during the session and encourage the other opposition parties (I’m looking at you SNP) to do this same. This will make the opposition look considered, almost mature, whilst making the Conservatives look more and more like children. I’m sure if this happened, the Government benches would soon fall silent too.

Perhaps too, extending Prime Minsters Question’s to an hour (like Ministerial Questions already is) without significantly increasing the number of questions would allow more careful and considered answers. At the moment the sessions feels like a rush, with the PM trying to give short answers that make his Government look good and also embarrass the Opposition.

Corbyn has tried something unique already, he’s asked people to submit questions via Twitter – needless to say this had led to some ridiculous suggestions. But in principle the idea is a good one, getting people to engage with politics is necessary to end public disillusionment.

This is a move in the right direction, although I’m not sure it will last. I don’t know about you, but I certainly feel sorry for Corbyn and his team having to sift through 60,000 suggestions to find just six to ask at 12 o’clock tomorrow, but look forward to seeing what is asked.

Do we need to restore some order to the Prime Minister’s Question Time? Do we need to restore some order to the Prime Minister’s Question Time?

— asked by

 

Author: Edward Molyneux 

Follow Edward on Twitter @NotSoRedEd

 

Weekly Roundup – 2nd October 2014

Last week, 61% of Peepoc users correctly predictedthat Scotland would vote to remain part of the United Kingdom. The outcome of the referendum resulted in Salmond announcing his resignation, prompting the question, would Cameron have resigned if Scotland had voted the other way? The no vote was very lucky for Tories, as two thirds of you felt that Cameron would have resigned.

A large number of British MPs voted in favour of uniting with the USA to carry out air strikes on Iraq.  Are you more inclined to support the air strikes when so many MP’s are for it?

Curiously, 27% of you said you would eat Japanese radioactive soup, all in the name of art!

Victoria Beckham made a speech about her wish to make a difference to women across the world after being made UN goodwill ambassador. However, it looks like she will not shake her roots, as 40% said she will always be known as a Spice Girl.

Now, the Peepoc news

Today you will notice that your Peepoc activity feed has changed somewhat, and you will always see new polls at the top.

Many users say they want to get as many votes as possible on their polls; in order to do that, you need to share your polls on Facebook and Twitter so that your friends can join and vote too. Tomorrow you will see the share buttons added to each poll.
That is all from us today, but if you have any bright ideas to improve Peepoc please let us know.

The Peepoc Team

True Democracy: A Work of Fiction?

The word ‘democracy’ originates from dēmos ‘the people’ & kratia ‘power, rule'; basically ‘the people rule’. But in modern society democracy has been whittled down to simply mean selecting a government through fair elections. Have we lost sight of the word’s origins? Can true democracy even exist in reality?

As I am a resident, I will use the UK as an example. We Brits live in a democratic society because we have a government who are elected by “the people”, and local MPs who are also voted in by us. Many political campaigns are funded by private sector donations and the public feel these are simply legal backhanders. Politics is a very messy game.

According to parliament.co.uk “Parliament is responsible for approving new laws (legislation). The government introduces most plans for new laws, or changes to existing laws – but they can originate from an MP, Lord or even a member of the public or private group. Before they can become law, both the House of Commons and House of Lords must debate and vote on the proposals.”

Despite democratically electing our Government, large proportions of the British public feel that their views are not heard, and that the 1% wealthiest run the country. This does not sound like a democratic system where ‘the people rule’, does it?

The British Government rarely calls referendums to consult its citizens directly, but imagine a society where everyone in the country voted on everything that happened within the country. Let’s say someone suggests that we should only work a 3 day week. There would be no expert opinions, no market evaluations, but everyone would surely vote for it. Then what would happen? The economy would nose dive because businesses couldn’t fulfil the services and manufacturing needed to satisfy market demand.

You would arrive at your local supermarket and all of the bread would be sold out by midday because we have only baked enough to cover 60% of consumer demand. Then the price would go up, because people need bread and the wealthy would be willing to pay more to ensure they get it… and so the chain continues.

So my point is, as lovely as true democracy sounds, it isn’t that simple. We have politicians, who are despised and distrusted, but they do provide a purpose – to save us from ourselves.

Although we might feel that true democracy is a work of fiction, there is a good reason for it.

Author: Emily Thompson

Please note that Peepoc does not endorse or represent the views of Guest Blog Authors.