Commons disgrace as war rages in Europe
IN THE past politicians were significant people, after the First World War discussing weighty matters, such as post-war reconstruction, economic development, and female emancipation, while after the Second the major subjects of setting up the welfare state, defending freedom from the Communist threat, and dealing with the end of Empire.
During my time in politics I have met, and even, in some instances, sat in committees with many serious politicians, such as Sir Richard Body, Tony Benn, Enoch Powell, Peter Shore, and David Stoddart, and these were MPs who discussed the important issues of the day, while representing their constituents to the best of their ability. What a change we see today. The Commons sees fit to obsess over such matters as cake, and the feminine charms of Labour’s deputy leader, while it seems that some behave in a way, particularly relating to sexual matters, which is an insult to those who elected them. Of course, most MPs are decent, and hardworking, but even these are frequently exercised about things which are not worthy of discussion.
As we enter iron times, with the possibility of war once again a paramount cause for concern it is noticeable that those MPs who have actually served in the Armed Forces are coming to the fore: men such as Ben Wallace, Secretary of State for Defence, and Tom Tugendhat, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, who speak with knowledge about the dangers which threaten us.
It is deplorable that the level of debate in the Commons appears to sink to a new low each week, and it is time that MPs looked to those from the past, often themselves veterans of war, as models to emulate.
What is going on at the moment is a disgrace, and shows contempt for the electorate, at a time when democracy is in peril in Eastern Europe.
Colin Bullen By email