What I can't abide is management using 'consultation' to shirk their responsibilities. If a manager on £50,000 a year wants to consult staff on £15,000 a year in order to make a management decision, then that manager should offer part of his salary to the staff as a bonus. Yes the manager should be aware of the feeling of colleagues on a given issue, but a good manager should always be aware of that. What I'm talking about is the style of management where everyday decisions are regularly made following 'formal periods of consultation'. It is too often a way for a poor, indecisive manager to try and make the least unpopular decision and I've seen far too many managers hide behind 'consultation' when the decision is proved a bad one.
So to Members of Parliament. I would expect an MP to be in touch with public opinion and take it into account when making decisions. But there are times when an MP should make his own decision and, if it doesn't coincide with public opinion, he should then get out to his electorate and explain why he made that decision. Come the next election he will then be re-elected or not based on his actions.
The problem I have is that I have a wet Tory MP, David Morris Morecambe and Lunesdale Constituency, who I fear is an ambitious 'Yes Man'. He seems to be the kind of MP who would rather sit back, see what the prevailing opinion is, then go along with it, especially if that's what his party leader also thinks. Whereas I would prefer an MP who actually had some beliefs of his own. If my MP is just going to sit back and decide which way to vote on issues when he sees the result of a consultation process, then why not just have a referendum, it would be cheaper? In this day and age we could vote online, via our mobiles or any other secure means. Let's face it we do most of our banking online these days and if it's secure enough for that it's secure enough for voting.
Last week I emailed my MP to find out his opinion on 'same sex marriage'. Below is my question exactly as I sent it to him:
I voted for you at the last election and would like to know your position on the government’s wish to redefine marriage. I would especially like to know whether you would vote for or against same sex marriage given the opportunity.On an issue such as this I would expect my MP to have some sort of an opinion, that's one thing. But my problem is that he began his response with the following:
Thank you for contacting me about redefining marriage. I understand that equal civil marriage is a contentious issue and have considered the points you raise carefully.Forgive me but I didn't raise any points for him to consider carefully. He then went rattling on about the Tory manifesto and what Dave Cameron has said. He then banged on about a consultation process and, after several paragraphs of bluster, concluded with:
I will be reviewing the outcome of the consultation closely before coming to my own conclusions on this issue.Fair enough, the point of debate and consultation is to listen to all views but surely on an issue such as this an elected politician should start from a position of conviction? If he'd replied that he was inclined to vote yes but was prepared to listen to all sides I could respect that. But he doesn't seem to have a view, for or against, and is just waiting to see what public opnion dictates he should do.
If Morris had actually answered my question, and I disagreed with him, I would have replied and asked him to reconsider his position. I would not decide to withdraw future support for an MP if I disgreeed with him on this issue.
However, in view of his response, or the response of one of his staff, I will certainly not be voting for Morris next time round. Indeed, I didn't vote for him from any conviction in 2010, it was more to get Labour out and there was no credible party to vote for. But I'd rather have an MP than one of Cameron's poodles.
It didn't help that he went against public opinion last year and voted against giving us a referendum on membership of the European Union. Wonder how he squares that circle?
Speaking of that won't it be strange if we end up with a referendum on reforming the House of Lords because it so constitutionally significant, but membership of the European Union isn't regarded as significant enough to give us one?