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.