Saturday, January 5, 2013

Actually we need fewer MPs

How often do we hear the cry that MPs represent constituencies that are too large, that we need more MPs, that representative government cannot survive in existing circumstances? I suggest that all those who ever utter nonsense of this kind have a look at the latest brouhaha around the proposal made by Andy Burnham, Shadow Health Secretary, that sugary breakfast cereals should either be banned or severely controlled by the state.

Apparently, he "has started garnering public and expert opinion on the subject as part of a consultation on tackling obesity". No doubt, he has, at our expense. Somebody has to pay all those experts to promulgate more state control.

His proposals are intended to prevent more obesity in children. Of course, they are. Everything these people do or propose to do is for the children, as if that made it all right to introduce state control over matters that is none of the politicians' business. Let us not even speculate who would be the people who would do well out of production of breakfast cereals that have passed some enormous quango's imprimatur. Corrupt? Our politicians and regulators? I am shocked, shocked that anyone could even suggest such a thing.

Obesity in children becomes an issue roughly speaking four times a year. The rest of the time we worry about eating disorders in children. The best solution would be to leave children to their devices (controlled by parents for the most part), encourage them to move about a good deal more and stop inducing neuroses in them about food. Eat less, move more is usually the best answer to obesity, assuming we can define it, which is not usually the case.

Having seen a number of MPs in my working life I have to report that a good many of them look unfit, have beer bellies and are often fat to the point of obesity. As with financial matters so with this: I see no reason why we should be lectured by these bozos (I use the word advisedly) on the subject.

Of course, we know what this is all about. Yes, it is our old friend, displacement activity. One way or another our MPs have given up any legislative power they might have to the EU, to quangos (and the two are often closely united) and, in the case of the unions, to the public sector unions who would like to paralyze all attempts to reform healthcare in this country. No real legislation is possible and they are mostly too scared to hold the Executive to account. So they come up with this nonsense. I say we need far fewer MPs. Halve the numbers at the very least.


  1. I believe we should have no politicians in the legislature or government. They are now the problem ,they are now a hindrance to democracy and wise governance, they are in fact undermining the former and making an unholy mess of the latter. Replace them with apolitical constituency representatives who follow the instructions of the people. Let the people govern the people it cannot be any worse than what we have and in many cases will be a whole lot better. An impracticable idea? Decidedly not in this day and age I believe reasonably simple to put into practice.

  2. I certainly agree that as things stand (with the EU, Quangos, ect.) most of our MPs have futile existences and are indeed superfluous, but if we had a properly constituted and functioning Parliament I am no longer so sure that there would actually be too many of them, having struggled to get around every part of a largely rural constituency in order to canvass properly when standing for election, in spite of devoting three months or more almost entirely to this activity!

  3. In one of Saki's tales, the manufacturer of a baby food is at his wit's end for lack of sales. It is a product called "PIPENTA" in an attractive pack with a picture of a happy healthy child.

    The Edwardian marketing expert advises that it is the nannies of England who are the key decision makers and they are ladies of stern views on child rearing and feeding.

    The name of the product is changed to "FILBOID STUDGE". Sales rocket and a fortune is made.

    Bearing in mind what the state nannies have done to cigarette packets, this sort of solution could well appeal to them

    1. Found it here:

      It's new to me, thanks for bringing it to my attention Edward S.

    2. AKM


      I will look it up and read it again. It's been a long time since my Saki stories disappeared into the great pile of shelfless books in boxes and attics. They certainly stuck in my mind.
      Happy New Year!