Clegg’s Reforms are a Mess

Nick Clegg’s reform packages are not going very well. Obviously AV is still a sore subject in yellow circles and the prospect of two year battle over House of Lords reform is even being discouraged by Guardian columnists. The Recall bill seems to be an irrelevance too. Zac Goldsmith is slamming it this morning:

Here’s the process; once the narrow Committee has qualified an MP for Recall, the petition begins, and requires only 10% of voters to sign it. Given that the MP will effectively have been deemed guilty by Parliament, that threshold will pose little challenge. The MP then faces an immediate by-election where they must fight in the context of national issues and where they are dependent on their Party’s fortunes. Unlike in true Recall, where MPs face a simple referendum on their job, under the Government’s plans, they have no chance to persuade voters that the Recall is unwarranted. This gives real power to the authorities to throw inconvenient MPs to the wolves for spurious reasons.

It says something when even Tory MPs are accusing you of not being radical enough. Guido can’t think why Nick Clegg, in his student-filled constituency, would possibly want to water anything down…



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Quote of the Day

Ken Clarke tells the Ben Fellows trial:

“The idea that I would go strolling off in order to grope a man in an office is highly unlikely.”

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