Frank Field MP
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Frank's Blog

Showing records 1 to 5 of 10

Part of the great political reform programme to be generated from the Commons will entail a head-to-head with Government. The aim, as I have said before, is not the Romantic one of trying to move back to the 1860s when MPs made and unmade Governments and were seen as great initiators of legislation. That was the age when only 3% of males had the vote. Responsible government - in the sense of governments being held to account by voters - necessarily entails party Government. Trying to go...
We are only 8 days into a 34-day contest for the Speakership. Already two characteristics stand out. The first is the lack of declared candidates. Sensibly the potential aspirants to the Speaker's chair are seeing what support they have. The successful candidate needs to have good support across all three main parties. A second characteristic is how the reform agenda is developing or, rather, how the party leaderships are responding to rapidly changing events. There appears to be a...
One wag reported, on hearing the news of the death of Metternich, "Now what did he mean by that?" The actions and sayings of Alan Johnson will likewise be analysed. So what did he mean by raising the question of electoral reform? Here was a cry for traditional British politics to re-emerge. What Cabinet Government was like is still within living memory of older voters. It was not uncommon then for major figures in a political party to engage voters in a wider debate. Alan is right in...
We are all reformers now. This will be the refrain of all the candidates for the Speakership. It is a phrase that hints at the opportunity, but also the danger. Will the election open the way to the most powerful Speaker in our history? Both candidate and programme are of equal importance. The next Speaker has to be strong enough to get the reforms through. Speaker Martin has done the Commons a great favour in setting out a leisurely election process. It will be the first campaign ever...
When the Speaker stands up today at 3:30, he has to deal with what might become a complete breakdown of trust in our Parliamentary system, by voters, as a result of the expenses fiasco. The question of expenses rightly angers the public, but the Speaker is now offered a unique opportunity to reform Parliament. His statement will hopefully cover five areas: 1. He should announce zero tolerance to fraudulent claims. Those in the outside world guilty of the worst abuses that have been...
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