A lack of liaison

untitled (279)The questioning of the Prime Minister by the Liaison Committee is in many senses the closest Parliament gets to a proper level of scrutiny of the leader of our Government. He is not elected by any voters apart from those in Witney who have elected him as their MP and the Conservative MPs who elected him as their leader. Yet he has a significant level of personal power. Yesterday was one of the rare visits by the Prime Minister to the Liaison Committee, a classic example of the power he holds was shown in his response to questioning on the use of a drone to kill a British National in Syria during 2015. When questioned he first said he was happy for the Defence Committee to know more, but it was then pointed out that he had refused to share any information with them. However he was undeterred, he went on to say that he knew the details and if the Committee wanted to know if the decision to use the drone in this way was reasonable and proportionate, they could ask him and he would reassure them that it was. These sort of clever answers may impress people looking on this as a game but it is no way for accountability to be demonstrated to you and I. Perhaps what was most disturbing was the call by Andrew Tyrie who Chaired yesterdays meeting for a further meeting with him before Easter, to replace the session that was lost between September and December. David Cameron once again played with the members in his response before refusing to add in an extra session this year. No doubt the lack of an additional committee in our Parliament which holds numerous committee meetings won’t stop the world turning on its axis. However our MPs and in particular this Prime Minister argue that they are democratically accountable, yet the reality is that these men and women are not really accountable at all to anyone other than their own consciences as Mr Cameron demonstrated in his answer. They will essentially do what they want to do, and not be deterred from this irrespective of any challenge from others who are arguably elected to do this. Another classic example is in the behaviour of Andrew Tyrie who is reputed for his refusal to make himself accountable to his own constituents, refusing to hold surgery meetings for those that request it!

About ianchisnall

I am passionate about the need for public policies to be made accessible to everyone, especially those who want to improve the wellbeing of their communities. I am particularly interested in issues related to crime and policing as well as health services and strategic planning.
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