All those who take an interest in our democracy and its workings, have criticisms which are eloquently aired on a number of occasions.One aspect of the democratic deficit that has received little coverage is that of every constituent's ability to have their Member of Parliament raise their case in the House of Commons.
Last Tuesday, following the debate on the European Union Bill, David Amess, MP for Southend West, began - at 10:34pm - an impassioned plea on behalf of his constituent Joanna Cranfield, his speech which can be read here - and one that I would beg you do read - it is a 'heart-rending' plea. (Hansard Column 261). Amess was fighting for his constituents plight, highlighting her enormous physical disabilities, whilst querying why having attained the age of 16 those benefits should cease. He did so in a chamber that had just two opposition MPs, a Deputy Speaker and The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (Maria Miller) in attendance - the latter who, in answer to David Amess, could only, in effect, 'pass the buck'.
At least Joanna Cranfield had a Member of Parliament who could get to his feet and fight her plight - which is more than can be said for those consitutents who have the fortune, or should that be misfortune, of having as their constituency Member of Parliament, the Prime Minister. There may well be 'mechanisms' whereby this can be done on a Prime Minister's behalf - I admit that I know not - however this would appear to leave those in Witney constituency 'dis-enfranchised' as David Cameron cannot do that which David Amess did.
This aspect of 'dis-enfranchisement' is further complicated when, as a constituent, you are told by your constituency MP (who is also the PM) that national policy will remain supreme over any 'supposed defects' or 'complaints' in regard local policy. Neither does it help when your constituency MP, on assuming the position of PM, then disables his previous email address at parliament.uk without any public notice being issued! And we wonder why politicians suffer 'dis-connect' with the electorate?
Is it any wonder that there are those amongst us who would like nothing better than to hang the lot of them and start again?