By closing down the public sphere, politicians have deprived themselves of their most valuable asset: the wisdom of an engaged citizenry, writes Claire in The Telegraph
When MPs and Lords were sent home early last Thursday, we were put on standby. If the UK secured a deal with the EU after endless fraught negotiations, we could expect our festivities (what festivities?) to be disrupted. We could be called back at anytime in the next two weeks to debate and vote on the passage of the relevant legislation.
Putting aside the problem of rushing through legislation to ratify a deal few would have time to scrutinise, this suggests that, when necessary, government is able to use the recall process to allow parliament to deal with urgent business.
I have every sympathy with those MPs who are demanding parliament be recalled to hold government to account for the drastic decision to impose tighter Covid-19 controls, effectively cancelling Christmas for millions of people. It is telling that this demand has been largely confined to Tory the backbenches. Why on earth aren’t opposition MPs demanding the evidence and insisting that they are given a hearing in parliament? The Prime Minister’s U-turn on his earlier promise – and his proclamation that would be inhumane to call off festivities – is very definitely urgent business; All parliamentarians should want the fullest debate on its implications.
Read the full article here.