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.