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GOODMAN PAUL FACE Paul Goodman recently announced his surprise decision to stand down as MP for Wycombe at the next election after just two terms in the Commons.

He uses an article in today's Daily Mail to explain that it is the fall of the "citizen MP" and rise of a "taxpayer-dependent political class" which lies behind his decision:

"In short, the Commons is set to become a chamber of professional
politicians, dependent on the taxpayer, and therefore remote from the
millions of Britons who aren't – especially the hard-pressed and
overtaxed middle classes. The tragic result of the expenses disaster
will be that the House will speed in this direction even faster.

"Not
so long ago, the Commons was a chamber of elected representatives who
were free to earn outside it, and thus had real knowledge and expertise
of the world beyond Westminster. The House's prime purpose was
to debate and resolve the clash of different interests within and
between parties. The Conservatives drew from the City, business, the
law and farming. Labour recruited from the shop and the factory floor."

But, he argues, the Government's response to the expenses scandal brought a "decisive turn of the screw":

"Gordon Brown,
in an act of class revenge, pushed a measure through the House
requiring MPs to declare exactly how many hours they work outside it. This marks the beginning of the end, for the forseeable future, of a
chamber of citizen MPs, rather than professional ones. Few working
business people, lawyers, doctors and, yes, even journalists will long
be able to fend off rivals who pledge to be in the House for every hour
of the working day to scratch away at the hamster wheel."

He also bemoans the transfer of parliamentary powers to the European Union and devolved bodies, as well as the rise of the quangocracy.

Read his full article here.

Jonathan Isaby

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