Saturday, 13 June 2009

In a nutshell...

Below is a copy of a reply i posted to a debate on the Jury Team social site.Thought it might throw some light on what the 'Jury Team' is.

Hi folks,
I admire your passion. Politics has got into this mess partly because people don’t care enough to argue anymore.
I did not sign onto the Jury Team because of righteous indignation over expenses sleaze. I like the other JT MEP candidates signed up before the current storm was unleashed by the Express. I signed up because i don’t think the Party Whip system is beneficial to the running of the nation. MP/MEP’s don’t vote in line with the interests of the Constituency they represent or even with their own conscience, but with the Party Whip. Decisions made in secret behind closed doors by a few faceless men In suits are passed into law by sheep like sleep walking MP/MEPs. As one Tory MEP told me on Sunday “I don’t have time to read all this stuff, I have to rely on the Party Whip to tell me how to Vote” – How can that be described as in any way representing the views and interests of the people he ‘represents’?

The Jury Team concept is a simple one, ‘more Independent representation’ in order to weaken or remove the Party Whip. You may have noticed that this idea had legs, with David Cameron stealing directly from the book written by Sir Paul before the Euro’s. He even talked about weakening the whip! (only talked, note). Jury Team’s reason for existing is to encourage and enable more independents of whatever political persuasion to be able to stand. Another really important point that i don’t think was brought out sufficiently in the recent campaign is that an Independent representative would by definition be more accountable to his electorate. No longer would a bad Labour or bad Tory MP be returned just because he is in a ‘safe’ seat. If an independent is not seen as working hard for his constituency then he will be voted out at the next election, with no ‘Party loyalty’ effect to save him.

Having no ‘Party Line’, ‘no policies’ and no ‘manifesto’ is a bit like being pregnant. You can’t be a ‘little bit pregnant’. You either have policies or you don’t. We are either complete independents or we are not. To quote Ben “I merely suggested that if we are all to run under the same banner we need to have some kind of combined message” This to me suggests a ‘Party Line’ – if that is not what you meant then sorry, but Jury Team was never meant to be the home of ‘the combined message’.
All we are asked is to agree the following -
1. Government should be run for the benefit of the people and not for the benefit of any political party
2. Elected representatives should vote according to their view of what is best for the country and their constituents and not at the direction of a political party
3. Politicians should fully comply with the Nolan Principles of Public Life and have externally decided and transparent remuneration

If an independent of the far right persuasion stands under the Jury Team banner in my area then i might not wish to support him, in fact i might wish to stand against him, as an independent of the far left persuasion.
As i said at the beginning, i am in favor of political discussion even argument. But if we argue detailed political viewpoints here on this site then the public might well think ‘So that is the policy of the Jury Team’?
So let’s meet at an AGM, in the pub, at a ‘primary selection meeting’ online in a debating forum, in a park... and discuss politics, argue politics, fight and become friends again. But not here, please.
Remember this project, if it is to survive, has to be organic it has to grow and develop. It has to be of the people and for the people. It has to be shaped and nurtured by those already in it and by those yet to join. We might be just at the beginning of something here – or already at it’s end...

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