Are we too quick to call ‘Resign’?

This question arises from a short Twitter discussion following the Lyn Brown fiasco in which she unleashed a verbal tirade against a blind radio reporter. It’s not altogether unsurprising that somebody who has decided to make a career in the world of the whips office should be a particularly unpleasant person. Brown has previous form, she was the subject of criticism for campaigning for the living wage while advertising for an unpaid intern. Brown is obviously a walking disaster area and therefore should resign her position at the whips office – not least because in her most recent faux pas she had to be forced to apologise when it should have come naturally.

However, are we too quick to shout ‘resign’? I don’t think so; in fact, shouting for a resignation is an expression of our impotence, the fact that we have no other recourse to action other than to demand somebody ‘do the decent thing’. No other mechanism exists for us to hold people to account. Were, for example, MP’s recallable, we wouldn’t need to call for a resignation; we could simply go about gathering support for our position.

The standards we expect of our representatives are in-part conditioned by the fact that the system set’s them apart from and over us; so yes, in some instances they are exactingly high and maybe too so (though not in this case); however, that is a product of the system that we have which produces these expectations. It’s also something that politicians frequently exploit so, there is plenty of having the cake and eating it. Until we have a properly formed democracy there is little we can do but plead (or more usually, angrily demand) they meet these standards and calls to resign though they are numerous will remain a product of the deep-seated alienation people feel from a imperfectly formed democracy.


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21 responses to “Are we too quick to call ‘Resign’?”

  1. Jim Jepps says :

    Personally I think we’re far, far too quick to call for people’s heads. The atmosphere that’s created where those who mmake mistakes are hounded keeps a lot of good people out of politics and feeds into the 24 hour news cycle rather than a good long term politics cycle.

    The whole affair over Clarke showed that people were much mmore interested in what he’d said in a radio interview than the fact that he was the only hope of a progressive prison’s policy under the Tories. Unseating him may have pleased those who think what you say is more important than what you do but it would have shifted the cavbinet in a more reactionary direction.

    Whilst I’m not for insensitive language or whatever if we want normal people in politics then this has to stop. If we want a politics that is more substance than spin this has to stop. And lastly if we want an adult politics we cannot be ready to fly into a rage everytimme an ‘offense’ occurs.

    People make mistakes all the time but are rarely sacked for them – it’s only a pattern of mistakes we should be concerned with when it comes to individual ministers and the overall politics of the cabinet rather than any mistep in language that might occur.

    That’s my view anyway.


  2. gillig says :

    “No other mechanism exists for us to hold people to account. Were, for example, MP’s recallable, we wouldn’t need to call for a resignation; ”

    50%+1 of the total voters in a constituency withdraw their vote by contacting their town hall.
    That MP has to stand down.
    Small administration cost.
    Huge improvement in accountability throughout the term of office.
    You have to vote UKIP, unless another party offers it.


  3. darrellgoodliffe says :


    I can see your point but like I say; I think its a symptom of something and that something is democratic disenfranchisement. I agree with the latter bit though – speaking your mind, paradoxically, isn’t actually that well rewarded yet it’s what the electorate claim to want.

    In terms of making mistakes; my main problem with Brown in this instance is a) she seems to maybe be well on the road to becoming a repeat offender and b) it’s a bit bad she had to be made to apologised; that kinda of suggests serial incompetence, the same thing as a) is pointing too.


    Back in the Real World….


  4. gillig says :

    Back in the Real World….I can give a sensible answer when a voter asks about recall. Labour don’t bother putting up candidates around here any more.
    I can see your point but like I say; I think its a symptom of something and that something is democratic disenfranchisement. I agree with the latter bit though – speaking your mind, paradoxically, isn’t actually that well rewarded yet it’s what the electorate claim to want… Brown is a fat, ugly, ignorant, smug, bombastic, unfeeling, uncaring, unaware, grasping harridan of a women – and those are just her good points.
    Ideal Labour MP material. A pig wearing a red rosette would get elected in West Ham, would be a lot better at the job and even look more attractive.


  5. darrellgoodliffe says :


    But there needs to be a more formal mechanism in place than the one you outline. Thank you for the agreement.

    So, your a big fan of Lyn Brown’s then?


  6. gillig says :

    Why formal?
    Do you actually understand a policy that isn’t verbosely padded into a magazine article?
    It’s a socialist mind-set thing.
    If you can fit it into one sentence, it can’t be any good.
    You are never wrong, after all, how could you be? You are righteous socialists.
    To admit that you are wrong is to concede at least some part of your ideology is wrong. But the ideology is always right of course.
    Explanation: Someone else must have corrupted you and diverted you from your righteous path.
    Just ignore it, Labour knows best.
    Or turn it into your usual three paragraphs, run it by your peer’s.
    Simple recall, a policy that costs little and is effective.
    It works with AV&+1, but not party lists (MEP’s who needs em?).
    Should be right up your street, the proles can vote themselves in and out, while you sit ion your bulletproof, unelected, global government committee.
    Beware of bankrupt Greeks bearing gifts, not boiling frogs.


  7. darrellgoodliffe says :


    Because your system is a bit silly really; you cant withdraw your vote when its been cast. That is not the way the system works now is it and err it would be a bit stupid if it did to be brutally honest. It does not cost little; it would cost an absolute fortune in admin etc.


  8. gillig says :

    To withdraw, go to your Town Hall with your ID.
    They check you voted, then withdraw it.
    One clerk five mins max.
    Take a constituency of 500000
    50% turnout
    50% of then recall.
    =125000 x 5 mins per constituency. about £20,000 or £40,000 under labour.


  9. darrellgoodliffe says :


    Gathering a certain % of the electorate would still be cheaper in terms of signatures.


  10. gillig says :

    Total recall petitions didn’t work for Arnie. He didn’t come back.
    Petitions are crap, not really checkable and unlikely to be effective on a repeat offender.
    You can only withdraw your vote once.
    your problem is you like the idea of recall for other people, not for Darrells World Domination Party,


  11. darrellgoodliffe says :


    Of course they are checkable, that’s absurd; they are checkable against the electoral register for example. Lol I have been a consistent supporter of right to recall; just because I don’t happen to like your schema, way of implementing it, doesn’t mean I dont support the policy.


  12. gillig says :

    Each petition signature could be checked against the register, but how do you check they are who they say they are?
    Just admit it is the best recall policy you have never thought of and initially misunderstood.
    It’s been argued over by some really big brains, It annoyed them too.


  13. darrellgoodliffe says :


    Bring a form of ID? I’m willing to accept it has some merits but I think it still has problems. For example, you would need it to be enshrined at a certain level that an MP is recalled and 50% is too high I think.


  14. gillig says :

    Debatable, agreed;
    Remember the withdrawals come from all voters, not just those who voted for the MP.


  15. darrellgoodliffe says :


    Ye you see there you have a problem I think because what if people withdraw more from their opponent?


  16. gillig says :

    You get one vote.
    The register shows only that you voted, not who you voted for.
    The town hall hold the register.
    They know the total number of people who voted and their identities.
    50% + 1 of the total voters withdraw their votes to initiate recall.
    You only get one withdrawal, it doesn’t matter who you voted for.
    There is no opponent, just an elected MP who has to keep 50% of the electorate happy.
    Democracy represents everyone, not just the majority.


  17. darrellgoodliffe says :


    But then you could probably remove an MP by combining all those who voted for his opponents but he would have done nothing wrong. That’s not fair.


  18. gillig says :

    Yes it is, the minorities become the majority.
    If Ms Brown pisses off half the people who bothered to vote, she should become a traffic warden relocation co-ordinator.
    If you think 50% is the wrong number ask Gordon to do the sums.
    There is no global precedent because I am a genius.
    Now shave your head, get on yr bike and nip off to see milly .
    His current advisor Lord something is turning BNP.
    Don’t forget,(like Yvette and Harperson);
    There was no banking crisis under Gordon Brown.
    Gordon Brown is an economic genius who is now in charge of the IMF.
    Immigration fell under New Labour.
    Educational standards rose to all-time highs under New Labour.
    Labour pumped money from Gordon’s Money Trees into people’s pensions.
    No Labour minister signed the Lisbon Treaty.
    There was no illegal Iraq War.
    There was no Invasion of Afghanistan between 1997 and 2010.
    Labour abolished Boom and Bust completely.
    British jobs go to British workers.
    There was never any question of Cash for Honours.

    Priorities for British Voters;
    1.. Will I have a job
    2.. Will my son/daughter have a job
    3. Can I afford to pay the bills
    4. How will the cuts affect me
    5. Rising petrol and energy bills
    6. EU red tape
    7. Wars in Afghanistan/Libya
    8. What’s this useless government doing about any of the above
    9. When will Labour actually give us a credible alternative and apologise for the mess they helped create in the economy?
    He just doesn’t get it.


  19. darrellgoodliffe says :

    Well I agree the economy is the priority.


  20. gillig says :

    I suppose you want to borrow my bike!


  21. darrellgoodliffe says :


    Not really, I wouldn’t be able to ride it 😉


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