The UK news over the last few days understandably is focused on our appalling chaos in the House of Commons over a public vote that took place 30 months ago involving 33.6m people which was called for and prepared amongst the 650 people in the House of Commons and they have still failed to deal with it in a meaningful way. However there are other stories that have emerged both here and in the USA that demonstrate the poor examples that are provided for us and the rest of world by the leaders of our nations. The image of Donald Trump in front of a table loaded with burgers that some people are claiming are from one of his restaurants which are intended as a reception for some footballers. The nature of burgers is not the only issue, but to offer food that is packaged in take away containers in a room that is at the heart of the US democratic structure for people who have been invited inside for a few minutes to meet the leader of their nation raises so many weird aspects. One of the other photos of this event shows a Whitehouse servant lighting the candles in the room that are sitting in the priceless candle holders on show above. The servant is wearing a black bow tie, presumably the same clothes he wears when he serves Donald with very different sorts of food when the public are not invited into the Whitehouse. Of course this is partly Trump making a statement that the Government is in shut down, but the fact is that in the USA there are many thousands of competent private sector caterers, but then they would not be so capable of demonstrating the issue he wishes to promote, that the Government can light his candles but not cook or supply credible food for his visitors.
Then there is the image of Tulip Siddiq, an MP who represents around 70,000 people in London and who is heavily pregnant. She has been forced to delay her Caesarian operation as Parliament makes no provision for MPs who are pregnant in terms of the voting arrangements. However in addition to this according to the Evening Standard, last Wednesday Tulip who spent two hours in the Chamber, then left to get some refreshments which is not usually acceptable by MPs who have spoken during the debate, but when she returned from her break she was criticised by Eleanor Laing, the deputy speaker who reportedly stated “Don’t play the pregnancy card with me …You’ve made women look bad ..People will think that women can’t follow the conventions of the House because they’re pregnant.”
It seems clear that whatever the future looks like, that we need to find ways of reforming the attitude and behaviour of our Democratic processes and the people who are appointed to be so called public servants.