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Oh dear! More displacement activity.

"Mr Cameron has also over-ruled objections from William Hague and David Davis who fear that he is only inviting more media scrutiny of MPs' behaviour and, in a parallel with the chaos of back-to-basics, doubling the political cost of failings whenever they are discovered."

I can understand the concerns of Hague and Davis about such a strategy backfiring and damaging the Conservatives in much the same way that "back to basics" did for Major, or "whiter than white" has done for the Labour party.
But for those that read the Guido post from a few days ago, they will know that this is not a choice but a necessary strategy with the continuing fall in election turnouts, political party membership and falling interest in participation in politics at local level.

The Conservatives have an electoral mountain to climb at the next GE, but its all the more difficult because voters trust in the whole political process is in the toilet and about to be flushed away for good by all parties if its not tackled.
In Guido's article he quoted "Transparency, real change, not just lip service or an attempt to change perceptions is required".
Until many of the backbench MP's of all political persuasions realise that this problem is above party politics, its going to get worse and it will damage all of them whether they are the ones in power or not.

Take the behaviour of the whole HoC over the recent problems with Michael Martin the speaker, no one party came out of that with any credit and it brought the whole political process further into disrepute. It really feeds into the common accusation that "politicians are all the same and they are into together"

David Cameron has made a step in the right direction with his swift action over the Derek Conway affair, its contrasted sharply with the behaviour over recent years of both Blair and Brown in dealing with this behaviour in their own party.
We will continue to have individuals within the party who will cause us embarrassment, but it is how we deal with them that will decide how it reflects on the whole party.

2."Closing the final salary MP pension scheme.

This is not a very good idea. As we all know Members of Parliament don't get paid a decent salry. However they get an allowance which makes up for the low monthly salary if used properly.

The satff cost is very high these days and it allows almost nothing to spend on constituency matters.

Some clever members of Parliament employ their family members and pay them out of their allowance. There is nothing wrong with this as long as they do the work properly.

Do you know that a Council leader gets paid £52000 Pa for a part tme job.A member of Parliament gets paid £60000 plus allowance.

"If you pay peanuts you get monkeys"(Not referring to anyone). If we need good quality Members of Parliament we also need to pay them a decent salary and pension.

It is better save Tax payers money by not wating money in the Civil service and NHS.

Public will have confidence in Politicians only when they deliver what they have promised, listen to their concerns and also be in touch with them.Turning up at the door step every 4/5 yeras is not good enough.

Not every Member of Parliament is rich like David Cameron.

Keep the final pension for MPs.

"Let's be clear what they think of us: "you lie and you spin, you fiddle your expenses and you break your promises."

Ex PR, accused of misleading Jeff Randall, amongst others, who has failed to fufil his promise to leave the EPP, and won't answer a straight question regarding cocaine use, calls kettle black.

"Closing the final salary MP pension scheme."

To new joiners, or to future accrual for all members.

If the former, then he risks being accused of hypocrisy - one rule for him, and a less favourable regime for others.

If the latter, then good for him - the scheme shoudl be replace by a 10% contribution by the employes to a stakeholder scheme in line with private employers.

If the latter, then my impression of Dave has changed completely and favourably. If he is willing to take on this sacred cow then he truly deserves credit and support.

A reduction in the number of spin doctors. "

Turkey votes fro christmas - remind me what is Dave's profession? Oh yes - hes a former spin doctor for Carlton TV.

The gripes against Cameron's approach all seem to be along the lines "it's too difficult". None of this is too difficult - it just needs the political will.

and "Do nothing" is not an option.

Cameron seems to get it. It's time the rest opened their eyes.

"2."Closing the final salary MP pension scheme.

This is not a very good idea. As we all know Members of Parliament don't get paid a decent salry."

Should that rule just be for our legislators, or could and should it be applied to everyone?
It is the one issue about the MP's financial package that I hear most people complain about, simple because it has become so detached from the reality of what is happening to everyone else outside the HoC.

Steve - ever heard the term "poacher turned gamekeeper".

"As we all know Members of Parliament don't get paid a decent salry."

You're joking right? £60k is a lot of dosh by most voters standards.

More please Mr C! This is the right way to go.

David Cameron is completly right in his approach. You will not get more people voting or taking part in politics until politics is cleaned up. Labour don`t seem to have the will to do it its nice to hear that the next Prime Minister does!

Blimey! I find myself in agreement with Jack Stone! I think this is excellent and David Cameron is 100% right in his approach. I'm very sorry that people like Hague and Davis oppose it but am quite unsuprised by Maclean's position.
Of course there are political risks but it is nevetheless the right thing to do.

The Conservatives should make a big thing of categorically promising to kill the parliamentary pension scheme.

Replace it with contributions limited scheme just like most people are forced to have .

By the way , ever thought about making a speech to English Conservatives on St Georges day and committing the Conservatives to an English parliament just like Wales' ?

"You're joking right? £60k is a lot of dosh by most voters standards"

Does that mean MPs should be paid 25K?

Members of Parliament are not Volunteers. They also have families. Do you really think you will get good quality Members of Parliament if we pay them less.

MPs spend almost all week either in Parliament or doing other Constituency work.

For your information £60K may have been a lot of dosh during the Conservative Government but not any more.A train driver earns £45K which is the same salary as a GLA member.

Also I am not even on the Z list. I am writing this only to see more good quality Members of Parliament elected in the future.

"Also I am not even on the Z list. I am writing this only to see more good quality Members of Parliament elected in the future."

One of Labour's biggest mistakes was the belief that throwing money at an institution like the NHS would automatically improve the quality of its delivery - it doesn't!

I am sorry but I do not buy into the myth that a gold plated pension and continued hikes in salaries will improve the quality of MP's. Restoring faith and trust in politics is more likely to attract quality candidates.

I agree Malcolm @ 18.28 I think they are very good ideas.

I think voiceinthecity's idea for a 'stakeholder scheme' for the MP's pensions would be much fairer. I don't believe that £60,000 p.a. is such a bad salary for an MP, many people work hard for much less than that, and they have other perks as well. Patrick Ratnaraja @ 14.10 - I do not think that £60,000 is peanuts, and I think it is somewhat unrealistic to think that a salary of say £100,000 p.a. will produce better MP's, it certainly hasn't ensured that there are brilliant managers in say the NHS!

I am not sure how the veto would work in practice, it might cause more trouble than it is worth - it needs explaining.

All good ideas.

"We don't trust politicians", quelle surprise. They do not trust us so it is mutual. What is however worse is that they treat us, the people, with utter contempt. When the elections come around, until the EU bans them, they want our vote and then ignore us for the next 4/5 years. As for £60k plus perks not being any good, there seems to be a glut of wannabe politicos, but that aside, try telling that to a pensioner on £50k less. This of course, leaves out fact that they do not do their primary job, looking after this County's interests not smarming around the EU beaurocrats.

That should have read "this Country's interests".

Apologies, brain ahead of fingers

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