Cameron urges Fleet Street to give MPs fairer coverage
- His promise to tackle the influence of lobbyists;
- His promise to end the possibility of MPs using parliamentary privilege to escape prosecution for expense abuse;
- And Alex Deane has welcomed the potential of voters being able to direct petition government.
His speech (full text here) also included a challenge to the media to raise their own game in the reporting of parliament and politics. Many MPs feel very angry that newspapers lump them all together when discussing "sleaze". No distinction is made between MPs who've overclaimed for a can of dog food and those with phantom mortgages. David Cameron called for more responsibility from newspapers:
"I want to see a whole new culture of responsibility from those who report the news. You are the lens through which people view the actions of this Parliament. That gives you a great duty to our democracy. I want to see a proper distinction between honest mistakes made by good, decent people whose intentions were honourable and those who set out to deliberately mislead, swindle and deceive. Most people who pursue a career in politics do so because they want to serve and because they want to do good. That should be recognised. Parliament does important and effective work, yet it is barely reported. And remember when you’re putting good people down, you could be putting good people off from entering politics. I’m not telling you how to do your job. I’m just saying that if you want to change politics as much as I do, this is something we’ve got to do together. We have a shared responsibility."
I hope he's not holding his breath.