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They should take the rest of the year off. It would save some money for the wretched taxpayer, perhaps. Anyway they have no purpose since they, like the Gaderene swine, rushed to get rid of their work in favour of Brussels. What are they for? Perhaps we could recoup some money by turning the House of Commons into a tourist attraction for Japanese tourists?

Long recesses are bad. For all they know, MPs may return to Parliament to find the doors shut and barred and discover that they've been overthrown and the Government intends to rule by decree for the next 30 years.

What a wimpy way to go too.

Don't think it can't happen here!

I beleive long breaks are undesirable in our parliament because parliament provide the oversight of the government and it is the government who actually ban things, interfere, regulate and so on.

Executive instruments allow government to continue full pace whether or not parliament are sitting -- parliament has little enough influence (being so full of lap-dogs) -- but at least it provides some level of visibility/transparency.

Wasn't the initial bank bail out plan formulated and implemented while parliament were away?

Parliament may have many flaws, but letting the government operate with out it is far worse!

'Family friendly' can take a running jump - if people aren't prepared to put in the time to run the country, then they can find some other job - there are plenty of people who are willing.

Labour have created the long recess. They do not appreciate that the public want value for money. Is it any surprise, it mirrors their economic mismanagement that put us into a mess where we are not well equipped to ride out the recession and be prepared to come out of it strongly. MPs should be in the House dealing with the problems the country faces, after all managers of our companies and other national organisations will not be on recess for a month!

The trivialisation of Parliament started the moment Tony Blair stepped through the door of No. 10 for the first time in 1997, when he reduced Prime Ministers Questions from twice a week to once.

As well as timetabling of debates, use of the guillotine, steady reduction of the number of days that Parliament sits, the appointment of Michael Martin as Speaker and doubtless many other sharp practices, do not forget that a dry run for the cancellation of elections was conducted in Spring 2001, during the Foot and Mouth disaster.

Personally, I think that there will not be an election in Spring 2009 and that Gordon will carry on until the last possible minute. Then there will be a national emergency........

I hope that the Tory MPs view this as an opportunity to "get out there" and influence public opinion by getting the message across to ordinary members of the public that the Conservatives know the economy at the human level with its fears of debt, rising tax and insecurity; that they plan to make sure that this country will be strong and soundly run in the future.

They MUST convey the messages that they are hungry, impatient and ready for the change we all need in the way this country is run.
This is no time for complacency it is an opportunity to win hearts and minds and (hopefully) seats.

No rest for the fighters and resthomes for those who won't!!

I wouldn't mind there 24 day break if we did not have to put up with the unctuous preaching from BOTH Labour and Tory MPs about ordinary people "working harder", "being more productive", "being lean and mean" etc.

Now for a long time I have felt that we have far too many MPs. When I was born 55 years ago the number was about right. In those far off days many people only had a what was then called a Wireless (radio), some had a single channel black and white TV, not many ordinary folks had a phone. Now the man in the street not only has 24/7 multi-channel colour TV, but a mobile phone, a PC accessing the Internet and which can send and receive e-mails, etc. These facilities are of course available to MPs as well.

I would suggest that rather than 650 or so MPs we cut the number to 300-350 That would mean combining many current Constituencies for example Reading East and West would lose their rural attachments in Wokingham and West Berkshire Districts respectively and unite as one Reading seat comprising of that Borough alone, a classic Con/Lab Marginal. Yes there would be twice the electorate per seat but with all the modern technology that would not be a problem to the MP.

With their having devolved Assemblies in Holyrood, Cardiff and Stormont there is a good case to further reduce Westminster representation for Scotland, Wales and Ulster and that, together with a rationalisation of English seats to an average electorate of about 130,000 would result in leaner, meaner and more efficient House of Commons. This would be especially useful should we eventually have a whole or partly elected House of Lords.

I like your thinking, Steve Foley.

I don't see what good parliament can do by sitting longer, given the mess they create when they're there at the moment. We need fewer politicians, fewer bills and less interference.

By cutting back on the time parliament is in session, we could also save on heating, lighting and running costs of the offices and use the palace of Westminster as a tourist attraction as was mentioned before.

In light of the change, MPs' salaries could be reduced and their gold-plated pensions scrapped. The HoC could easily function with 350 MPs with no detriment to anyone.

Since the overwhelming proportion of our legislation comes from the EU, much of it never touching Parliament and the rest neither MPs nor Peers can throw out, I can't see that it makes a blind bit of difference how much time those bozos have off. Except that, of course, they should not be paid those salaries and expenses, particuarly as they do not do their work. As for the Peers working harder, that has been true for many years and some of us have been writing about it for many years. Welcome into the real world.

Although I completely agree that this government often uses these holidays to announce bad news/controversial measures, and although I believe that this IS a very long holiday, I do think that it's worth introducing some balance to this rather hysterical debate.

MP's don't just stop when Parliament goes into recess, in the same way that teachers don't just stop during Easter etc. They have many, many constituency and party duties, such as resident casework, party fundraising obligations and so on. "Fundraising? Pah!", you may say... but unless you're willing to fund parties with taxpayers money this is a necessary activity.

The holidays enacted by Labour ARE too long, but that doesn't mean MP's aren't working or earning their salaries.

Interesting that you say the libertarians would like them to sit for less.

This assumes the default position of parliament is to make people's life harder so the less chance they have to do this the better.

Parliament should sit for longer to help make people's lives easier, more prosperous and happier.... After this long of "ZaNuLabour" I think people have forgotten that.

Didn't Charles I give them a recess of 11 Years during The Tyranny ?

Having arrested Damian Green the Executive seems hell bent on igniting another Civil War...the way the economy is going they might well get it

The longer MP's are in recess and away from Parliament, the less scrutiny there is on Gordon Brown and his government.
Hence the longer holiday for MP's this year as decided by this government!

I know that Mandelson likened Brown to Moses, but do we have to have ConHom treating the Taxpayers alliance in the same way?
I find it irritating to have to read their statements on everything here, if I am that interested, I can look up their website.
They are a narrow focus group with one aim, and the needs of the UK and the abilities and policies of the next Conservative government will have to cover a hell of a wider remit!
Its beginning to sound like this site worships at their feet, and hangs onto their every word.

Helen at 12:15 got there before me...

The activity of the EU & our mutual friends at HMRC, DWP & other departments guilty of idiocy will go on.

As much as Parliament has some chancers in it, I'd rather be governed by MPs than the aforementioned clowns!

There is some excellent scrutinising work done by parliamentarians. Some don't bother, but others conduct debate at a high standard & generally try to help their constituents & other members of society.

The UK Parliament may be in recess but the REAL government in Brussels is working flat out.
What practical use is the UK government anyway? apart from repressing our, hard fought, freedoms.
And please, when Mr. Cameron speaks of legislation to do with health, education and transport or law in "the UK" will some one remind him that these issues have been devolved and that he can only speak for "ENGLAND" - you know the people that vote for his party, the Scots don't, the Welsh don't and even after prostituting himself in Ireland, the Irish won't.

No. They should get a week like most of the rest of us.

A week?? I thought everyone just got the 3 Bank Holidays for free. I certainly do.

Why do MPs get so much time off anyway?

So Brown & Co can commit 30% GDP to rescuing the financial sector from meltdown and credit collapse destroying the economy with less scrutiny than in the USA.

That major banks can be taken into State control without so much as a murmur shows how discredited the PFI project must be since these same banks were financing schools, hospitals and government buildings on sale and leaseback terms.

So Brown & Co can commit 30% GDP to rescuing the financial sector from meltdown and credit collapse destroying the economy with less scrutiny than in the USA.

That major banks can be taken into State control without so much as a murmur shows how discredited the PFI project must be since these same banks were financing schools, hospitals and government buildings on sale and leaseback terms.


"A week?? I thought everyone just got the 3 Bank Holidays for free."

I am in the same situation, the three Bank Holidays are of course given to all but if one wishes the rest of Xmas that comes from annual leave. My employers used to shut down at Xmas from 24 Dec till the first working day after New Years day. I preferred this long break but a few years ago they changed to the presents system and are open over the Xmas period.

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