Parliament regains its bark…now for the bite!

July 15, 2011 § Leave a comment

I believe that, in so many ways, the hack-gate, for want of a better term, has caused a shift in a number of our establishment institutions-the Press, Parliament, the Police-that won’t easily be re-set to its old ways.

In today’s 24/7 media age, where everyday events are dramatised until the last drip of newsworthy-ness is rung out of them, it is all to easy to describe something as a ‘historic turning point,’ but I believe this has been.

Our very establishment has been rocked to its core…with hardly anyone coming out of it not smelling of the brown and smelly stuff.

As I wrote on this blog yesterday, Labour Leader Ed Miliband has-by and large-caught the mood of the nation right and has led, certainly among party leaders, on the calls for Rebekah Brooks to stand down as News International’s CEO (which, very belatedly, she finally did today.)

I’m very proud that my own party has also been diligent in calling for the same and Nick Clegg is leading on how we might best go about reforming some of these outdated and-it could be readily argued-unworkable institutions, such as the PCC, and the relationships between politicians and the press and the police and the press.

But this has also been an excellent ten days for Parliament.

Some argue that the major decisions in our national life are made elsewhere, in Downing Street or at the various party HQ’s; but, this week has shown that the House of Commons still has a central role to play in our democracy.

From the dogged determination of backbenchers Chris Bryant and Tom Watson (who, to give them credit, have shown what backbenchers can do if they get the bit between their teeth and are brave), to the grilling and spot-on mockery of some of our supposed ‘senior’ current and former police officers by the Commons’ Home Affairs Select Committee which, we hope, will be echoed by the Culture, Media and Sport Committee when they grill the Murdochs, senior and junior, and Ms Brooks next week.

And the fact that Parliament compelled such powerful figures to attend next week, again shows that-after a period of needed relative quiet following MP’s own controversy a few years back-the expenses scandal-Parliament has regained its bark.

Let’s hope it finds its bite soon, too.

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