Where are the anti-EU, pro-death penalty, Cannabis legalising MPs?Posted on August 8, 2010
On the back of a piece in the Independent by Sean O’Grady, Conservative Home’s Jonathan Isaby asks ”Should we care that the social background of the Government is unrepresentative of the country at large?”
My answer would, of course, be no – I don’t think you should be judged more or less suitable to govern the country due to your gender, skin colour or sexuality.
What I do think should worry us is the fact that Westminster is so devastatingly unrepresentative of the country at large politically.
We live in a nation that now has majority opposition to EU membership, oft-cited majority support for the death penalty for the most unpleasant offences, overwhelming enthusiasm for tougher sentencing, strong majority support for the legalisation of cannabis and extremely high levels of concern about the rate of immigration.
Where are those views represented in Westminster? Most of them are treated as fringe opinions that only a few MPs openly support.
It is irrelevant whether the political class have the right appearance, sexual interests or accents to represent the nation - but it is of the utmost importance that they represent the views of the people.
Amid all the hullabaloo about quotas and so-called “positive” discrimination being essential to produce a socially representative Parliament, one almost never hears those who make that case express any concern about the failure in political representation.
The fact is that those who argue most strongly for enforced social representativeness in Parliament are themselves almost totally unrepresentative of the nation politically. Would Sean O’Grady, I wonder, support quotas to ensure that the majority of MPs, like the majority of the public, were anti-EU or in favour of the execution of those who rape and kill children? I suspect not.