Saturday, May 16, 2009

Some Good Things MPs did this week

If you came into contact with virtually any media outlet over the past week, you would be forgiven for coming away with the idea that Members of Parliaments are a bunch of money grabbing, self serving, corrupt, vain fools who never do anything for anybody but themselves.

Yes, the expenses stuff is important and action has to be taken, but Parliament has done some good things this week which will make people's lives better.

Firstly, Jack Straw has bowed to pressure from, among others, the Liberal Democrats, who vigorously opposed his plans to hold certain inquests in secret and quietly ditched the plan. Concern had been expressed that inquests such as that of Jean Charles De Menezes, would be held behind closed doors.

People with autism and those who look after them will be better supported by Councils and Health Services if the Autism Bill becomes law in England and this came a step closer this week as the Government pledged to support it. Cheryl Gillan has had her own problems this week, but her work on and support for this Bill must be recognised. I know that the Liberal Democrat MPs have also been supportive.

Finally, it's good to see that Willie Rennie's Bill to enable driving instructors convicted of sex offences to be suspended from working also progress further with Government support. A constituent of his was sexually assaulted by her driving instructor and shocked to see him working a few days after he was convicted. The regulatory agency had no power to suspend him and the process of removing him from the register took several months to run its course. This is a hugely important measure to protect people.

So, the Government surely is mucking up a lot of big things at the moment, but it has had the common sense to work with MPs from other parties to encourage these much needed reforms.

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