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Paul Goodman explains his decision to quit the House of Commons before it becomes entirely populated by a "taxpayer-dependent political class"

GOODMAN PAUL FACE Paul Goodman recently announced his surprise decision to stand down as MP for Wycombe at the next election after just two terms in the Commons.

He uses an article in today's Daily Mail to explain that it is the fall of the "citizen MP" and rise of a "taxpayer-dependent political class" which lies behind his decision:

"In short, the Commons is set to become a chamber of professional politicians, dependent on the taxpayer, and therefore remote from the millions of Britons who aren't - especially the hard-pressed and overtaxed middle classes. The tragic result of the expenses disaster will be that the House will speed in this direction even faster.

"Not so long ago, the Commons was a chamber of elected representatives who were free to earn outside it, and thus had real knowledge and expertise of the world beyond Westminster. The House's prime purpose was to debate and resolve the clash of different interests within and between parties. The Conservatives drew from the City, business, the law and farming. Labour recruited from the shop and the factory floor."

But, he argues, the Government's response to the expenses scandal brought a "decisive turn of the screw":

"Gordon Brown, in an act of class revenge, pushed a measure through the House requiring MPs to declare exactly how many hours they work outside it. This marks the beginning of the end, for the forseeable future, of a chamber of citizen MPs, rather than professional ones. Few working business people, lawyers, doctors and, yes, even journalists will long be able to fend off rivals who pledge to be in the House for every hour of the working day to scratch away at the hamster wheel."

He also bemoans the transfer of parliamentary powers to the European Union and devolved bodies, as well as the rise of the quangocracy.

Read his full article here.

Jonathan Isaby


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