Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Earning that reputation XII

Parliament's Government Administration committee has decided to hear evidence on MP's pay and conditions in secret:

Select committee lists circulated last night listed the committee as open and said Speaker Lockwood Smith would be giving evidence.

But Smith, who as Speaker is in charge of MPs' pay and conditions, apparently requested secrecy for his evidence.

What was Smith afraid of? The obvious answer is "public criticism of what he had to say". So instead of facing up to the public and making his arguments openly and honestly, he has further debased the reputation of Parliament and called its integrity into question. MP's wonder why the public thinks so little of them? This is why. And we'll keep thinking it until one of them stands up and lodges a complaint of Breach of Privilege against the Speaker for bringing the House into disrepute.

(Smith's evidence will of course be released when the Committee submits its report. But in the meantime, the damage to Parliament's reputation has been done).