Eric Pickles says no to pub voting

30 January 2014

The killjoys at the Department for Communities and Local Government have quashed an (admittedly rather hopeful) attempt by Bob Stewart MP to allow politicians to vote from the pub. Colonel Bob asked if Eric Pickles might bring forward legislation that would let councillors ‘attend’ meetings remotely. Sadly, junior minister Brandon Lewis was having none of it:

‘I note that this ill-conceived idea to allow councillors to vote from the pub or while watching television was endorsed by Labour ministers in Whitehall… Ministers in this government do not support this measure and have no plans to bring forward similar legislation… Such a move would risk weakening the clear local accountability and transparency of conducting council business in open public meetings.’

Boring!  Mr S has lost count of the times he’s seen MPs stumbling toward to the lobbies, unsure of what they are even voting for. This ‘ill-conceived idea’ would certainly save them the dangerous walk.

It’s not over yet, though. Lewis noted: ‘Of course, we need to move with changing times and new technologies.’ Perhaps we’ll get X-Factor-style open primaries or something.

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Show comments
  • Hexhamgeezer

    Only real ale drinkers should be allowed a vote. At any time. Anywhere.

  • Kitty MLB

    I think chaps should be allowed to vote at the same time as drink that
    nasty brown liquid they seem to like, and do so in pubs.
    Perhaps as they are the places where people might chat about politics,
    people might be more sensible with their voting.
    Also, Mr Pickles, Are will still trapped within the Socialist nanny state,
    its somewhat sinister to be constantly told what we as rational, thinking
    human beings can and cannot do- will individuality be banned next?

  • Nicholas Bennett

    Bob Stewart MP asked the question following discussion by Bromley Council’s New IT working Group which noted that the Welsh Government had passed legislation in 2010 to allow councillors to attend meetings remotely.. It has nothing to do with voting in pubs and I regret the silly and cheaply populist way the question was answered by Brandon Lewis which have to say has become the mark of the DCLG.
    Already we hold meetings with officers remotely when business commitments make a face to face meeting impracticable. What was being sought was the ability for a councillor to attend via Skype a council committee meeting. Clearly there would be rules to ensure it was done under special circumstances and we didn’t end up with a group of laptops talking to each other.The facility could also be offered to members of the public wishing to make representations at say a planning committee. If we wish to expand the ability of busy working people to participate in local government we need to explore such options.

  • keith

    if we let MPs vote from the pub we might get a few more sensible results

    • sfin

      That’s not a bad point actually…

  • Faceless Bureaucrat

    “Perhaps we’ll get X-Factor-style open primaries or something.”
    Mmmmm…. I wouldn’t hold your breath, Mr. S

  • sfin

    I’m a libertarian at heart – and loathe our current masters’ propensity for ‘banning’ and controlling.

    But I see a definite case for breathalysing anyone, elected to public office, who attends debates on which they subsequently vote.

    • David Kay

      The politicians wont allow themselves to be drug tested for the same reason the police federation wont allow its members to be drug tested. The day after the results come back, we wouldnt have many police officers or politicians left

      • sfin

        Ooooh! Touché Mr Kay!

    • IainRMuir

      “But I see a definite case for breathalysing anyone, elected to public office, who attends debates on which they subsequently vote.”

      IQ testing wouldn’t hurt either.

    • Ciaran_J_Goggins

      What next drug testing for long term dole claimantd like me? Will the fact that I use cannabis and cystal meths mean I am not allowed to claim my dole money, how is someone like me expected to live?

      • DerekGHaslam

        You won’t live much longer;)

        • Ciaran_J_Goggins

          Oooh matron I better get a big padlock for my tiny rented caravan. By the way I have reported your two silly twitter accounts along with several other people so that’s another fail for you troll.

          • DerekGHaslam

            Doubt that, the Twitter account will be of HUGE importance soon.

            • Ciaran_J_Goggins

              Never was. Just you talking to yourself like your pathetic livejournal and wordpress blogs where you sing the praises of rapists, sexual deviants and pretend to be a freelance journalist instead of a fifty three year old failed burger flipper trolling the internet using fake names and squating in a rented caravan. How sad is that?

        • Ciaran_G_Peckerhead

          I nearly died when my pet gerbil escaped from the sandwich bag.

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