Aren’t MPs supposed to represent people?
by Giles Turnbull
If I were a constituent in Haltemprice and Howden, I’d be feeling pretty pissed off this morning.
Last time I checked, MPs were supposed to be representatives of the people who voted them in to office. Their job is not just to sit in the Commons and take part in debates, but also to address the issues affecting their constituents. And I mean address them: a huge amount of the average MP’s time is spent writing letters and making phone calls on behalf of aggrieved or troubled constituents who need help.
Can anyone see Kelvin Mackenzie doing that?
In one sense it’s admirable to see David Davies standing up for his convictions by resigning as an MP, but that means he’s failing to stand up for his constituents. And he’s supposed to be their representative in Parliament: they put him there.
A byelection between Davies and Mackenzie and anyone else who joins the fray will cease to be about the local people. National politics ends up wading in and treading all over the issues that matter to the people who live there. I’m not a local and I don’t know what those issues are, but if the same thing were happening where I live, you can be sure I’d want to have a choice of elected representatives who I could hope would actually represent me.
If Davies is re-elected, the situation will remain largely unchanged and no doubt he will continue doing his job as an MP. But I’d like to see a third independent candidate standing – someone local who actually cares what happens in local politics, and doesn’t rest their entire campaign on the civil liberties issues of 42 day detention without charge.