The Rt. Hon. Mark Harper, MP
Dear Mr. Harper:
Thank you for initiating this draft legislation.
I write to you in the hope that you will consider expanding it to include MPs who fail in their duty of care to their constituents. There is a global perception that British MPs are corrupt and bone idle. This is not true for all, of course, but I point it out to you so that you can consider the seriousness of this widely held perception, and know that it is an international perception. This perception also extends to police and the judiciary, and Britain has come a long way indeed from the days when these institutions were held to be the epitome of righteousness, honesty, and fairness. Today, most of them appear to be above the rule of law and corrupt.
The problem is that there appears to be no legal requirement for an MP to take on any constituency work or, in fact, help constituents in any way whatsoever. Surely, by the very nature of the job and by the constituents voting for them, constituency work is implicit. However, it seems that it needs to be legislated. There is definitely a failure in duty of care by parliament. Many people are coming up against brick walls laid out by all areas of government, local authorities, and quangos, and turn to their MPs as a last resort. They, in turn, put up another brick wall by not only refusing to help, but not even acknowledging correspondence, which should be mandatory for any organisation if they do not wish to be despised. I have endless examples of this.
The crux of the problem is lack of accountability by every single area of public service, and an arrogance which is beyond compare. The public who voted for their MP invested trust in them, and they are being very badly let down. It is a sad day indeed that they should need to be legislated to do the job they were intended to do, and to help their constituents, but I am sorry to say it is necessary.
The situation has become out of hand and is totally shocking. Nobody knows if parliamentary assistants are simply deleting emails or what is going on, but numerous people are ignored on very serious issues by MPs, and have rightfully come to the conclusion that this is corruption. This also applies to government departments, local government, and quangos – all public bodies, and even human rights groups and charities, such as Elder Abuse, who ignore serious complaints, and I would like to suggest that there be some legislation made to enforce a level of service in these areas also. After all, they are taking public money.
I have endless examples of these bodies ignoring people, and doing everything possible not to help them. There seems to be a policy of “How can I get rid of this person without helping them”, rather than “How can I help this person.” I can assure you that it is consistent throughout the entire public service and the other bodies mentioned, and not isolated.
There is no accountability by those taking public funds. For example, in the case of the IPCC, in which the public also has no faith, the National Audit Office (NAO) “value for money report” dated 14th November 2008; one on the (NAO) recommendations was:
vi “There is currently no formal review of cases after they have been completed. The IPCC should institute a system of post-investigation reviews of independent investigations, to include reviewing the role of the Casework Manager and investigators.”
The report also stated:
“The IPCC’s investigative work is not currently subject to any external scrutiny. The IPCC should explore how to introduce a system of external review of its cases, for example, by engaging a
suitable organisation or organisations to undertake a quality review of a sample of its investigations and appeals. Possible organisations might include other UK police complaints handling,
audit or investigatory bodies.”
Can you expand your proposed draft legislation please, so that public bodies and MPs can be made more accountable by legislation as is so obviously necessary, and that the people can vote indolent MPs out of office for failure in duty of care, and action be taken against public bodies without costly litigation? I do hope you agree that these matters mentioned are indeed serious failures, and the public has no confidence in anyone in public service, with few exceptions, and resents certain MPs to the point of absolute hatred. It is little wonder that people are taking to the streets in protest. They are also a risk management issue, and may not comply with current best practice, particularly with regard to indemnity insurance. Certainly, other countries have taken the lead when it comes to best practice and risk management.
Very serious issues have been raised by thousands of people over many years and ignored by every single authority. This is corrupt. There must be some legislation which makes MPs and publicly funded authorities step up to the plate and help their constituents, and there should be consequences. At the moment, there are none.
I look forward to receiving a response from you, and it will be a first if I actually do get a proper response from a British MP. I once had a response from Bernard Jenkins’ staff. Other than that, the only ones with any courtesy are John Hemming, Lord Marlesford, Sir Peter Bottomley, Viscount Bridgeman, Lord Laird and, of course, Nigel Farage. I think you will agree that this is very slim pickings indeed, considering there must be some one thousand members of parliament in the two houses, most of whom appear to be more interested in issues such as in the welfare of laying hens http://www.theyworkforyou.com/whall/?id=2011-12-13a.224.0&s=chickens#g235.2 than they are in the welfare of the British public.