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"What I want from my MP is..."

Post categories:

Louisa Compton | 19:30 UK time, Monday, 14 December 2009

Every year MPs are sent a copy of the Green Book - it's a 36 page guide to what they can and can't claim for on expenses.

At the next election they're going to be sent another book - one written by 5 live listeners. It's a guidebook of what you want and expect from your elected representatives.

Earlier in the year this programme came from the Labour, Conservative and Lib Dem party conferences with 600 listeners taking up our offer to come and look their politicians in the eye and ask for some straight answers. We asked each person in the audiences to fill in a card completing the sentence, "what I want from my MP is..."

Now the next phase of the project; whittling down those 600 cards to come up with a shortlist for inclusion in the guidebook. We asked three 5 live listeners to do the job for us. They are: Vanessa Cox, who's a teacher from Cirencester; Ashir Shah, who is a student from London, and Charlotte Allen from Worthing.

In this short film they talk about what came out of their discussions.

In order to see this content you need to have both Javascript enabled and Flash installed. Visit BBC Webwise for full instructions. If you're reading via RSS, you'll need to visit the blog to access this content.

Some of the suggestions you've come up with include:-

"Honesty."

"Someone who isn't behind a desk 24/7, who goes out and sees the public regularly. Someone who does their job to the best of their ability."

"Inspirational leadership and interesting imaginative policies."

"The truth - an honest approach to governing the country and honest answers to questions asked concerning current affairs. Whether the answer gains favour with the public or not, it is the only way to regain public trust."

"A contract of employment for MPs where they can be held to account with NO grey areas and unlimited expenses."

"To never become too entrenched in the political system - and never be afraid of change."

"Dilligence, hard work, intelligence, interest in local issues, honesty, less spin and most importantly, 'a human being'."

"More emphasis on the young, and an increase in political awareness. Also for them to not be afraid of 'bad press' and let us see the REAL MP we're voting for."

"Express his opinions in a straight talking non pc manner and to work for the majority, not the minority."

"To remember where they came from and that their job is to represent their constituency, not blindly obey the whips - ie earn their salary honestly."

"Honesty. Telling the truth no matter how painful, like if a policy is reversed, admit that it didn't work, people respect the truth more than spin."

"Better use of new media technology to reach the public. Ie twitter, email newsletters, interactive websites - many of these services are free, so would cost the taxpayer less in expensive PR campaigns."

"...an MP who does not abuse the expenses system."

"To represent their constituents - not their own interests. To have real life experience - not young career politicians"

"Simply an 'honourable' member of parliament who not only has a passion for politics but a passion for working for the people."

"Clear-cut measures on how his/her party is going to improve the lives of the people, no more 'waffling' or references to history (eg Labour's track record) but present to us a vision."

Tell us how workable you think they are.

Comments

  • 1. At 10:21am on 15 Dec 2009, Tempus Fugit wrote:

    Some interesting points there, especially the "...an MP who does not abuse the expenses system" one - although there seems to be a bit of a theme running there, listening to the broadcast.

    I think the whole lot could be summarised by one mantra; "Honesty, integrity, plain-speaking and mean what you say. No more spin, bluster, obfuscation, meaningless double-speak and (start underline) no more lies. (End underline)"

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  • 2. At 10:24am on 15 Dec 2009, Tempus Fugit wrote:

    Meneer Hussain - from the way you are describing it, it sounds like another out-of-touch judge. Your description sounds like he gave his assailant (because, let's face it, to overcome a family and tie them up you have to attack them in every sense of the word) a kicking entirely in proportion to the treatment meted out to him and his family. Natural justice in action. If you can't do the time, don't do the crime. By the same token, if you don't want to get beaten up, don't force your way into peoples homes, assault them and try to take their possessions from them. Speaking of time, I haven't heard you saying what happened to the burglar from a judicial point of view but I admit my attention may have been elsewhere at that precise moment.

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  • 3. At 10:43am on 15 Dec 2009, Sarnia wrote:

    The question you asked was disingenuous - "was the Judge right?" Or "did the Judge do the right thing?"

    The Judge cannot make up the law as he goes along. He can only apply the law (which has been created by the Govt).

    For all you know the Judge might think the law is an ass; but he still has to apply it.

    If you don't like it; get the politicians to change it.

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  • 4. At 10:45am on 15 Dec 2009, George Sabiniak wrote:

    Hi Victoria.

    Perhaps the Speaker could read out a brief modern interpretation of the "Ten Commandments" to the House at the begining of each PM Question Time session in order to remind MP's of their moral obligations.

    Regards.

    George Sabiniak

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  • 5. At 11:05am on 15 Dec 2009, laughingmarmalade wrote:

    Having brain damage, the burglar wont be so keen to have a go at someone else now - serves him right!

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  • 6. At 11:06am on 15 Dec 2009, Sarnia wrote:

    Victoria - what do you mean by the question "was he right?" Do you mean correct in applying the law as it stands (which he was) or right from a moral standpoint?

    You're being deliberately unclear on this to attract the ranters onto the programme (the first caller for example).

    Of course most people have sympathy with Mr. Hussain but a lot of people seem unable to comprehend that like it or not there is a law and the Judge was applying it.

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  • 7. At 11:12am on 15 Dec 2009, zelda wrote:

    Perhaps if people had faith in the criminal justice system and knew that a decent sentence would be served IN FULL, they would attempt to take the law into their own hands.

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  • 8. At 11:12am on 15 Dec 2009, Tempus Fugit wrote:

    "You're being deliberately unclear on this to attract the ranters onto the programme (the first caller for example)."

    And he had me in stitches. Hilarious! - but also sadly very close to home for many people.

    The judge said that people cannot take the law into their own hands but when people continually see, read about or perceive that the law seems to serve the criminal and ignore the victim and that justice appears to be a derisory "slap on the wrist" then is it any surprise when people, terrified by their ordeal and not thinking rationally as a result, decide that the best course for their own protection is to knobble their attackers themselves?

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  • 9. At 11:13am on 15 Dec 2009, Tempus Fugit wrote:

    "Perhaps if people had faith in the criminal justice system and knew that a decent sentence would be served IN FULL, they would attempt to take the law into their own hands."

    They WOULDN'T attempt to take the law into their own hands, surely, Zelly...??!

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  • 10. At 11:13am on 15 Dec 2009, zelda wrote:

    Sorry - that should read WOULD'NT attempt to take the law into their own hands.

    Oh for an edit system.

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  • 11. At 11:37am on 15 Dec 2009, Sarnia wrote:

    I fully understand the feelings behind this and actions people take; but we must live by the law (or change it) or we run the risk of all behaving like vigilantes.

    Surely it's not about whether we 'understand' his reactions (of course people have sympathy) but whether the law is right as it stands?

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  • 12. At 11:49am on 15 Dec 2009, Tempus Fugit wrote:

    "I fully understand the feelings behind this and actions people take; but we must live by the law (or change it) or we run the risk of all behaving like vigilantes."

    Indeed but if you pull the tail of a tiger you shouldn't be surprised if it turns around and tears your face off, should you?

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  • 13. At 12:12pm on 15 Dec 2009, Sarnia wrote:

    I'm trying to look at this from a non-emotive view point. Mr. Hussain could have bludgeoned him to death and be within the law IF the burgular had been on his property. But because the burgular had run away and Mr. Hussain followed him then the definition changes.

    Whether that should be changed is what should be up for discussion not whether one can understand the emotions (because that should be a given surely?)

    I had my car windscreen shattered by someone who thought it amusing to take a traffic bollard and hurl it (twice) at it a couple of weeks ago. I was mad as hell; inconvenienced (didn't have my car for a week) and really, really angry so I understand people's emotional reactions - but you can't legislate emotionally - it has to be dispassionately.




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  • 14. At 1:01pm on 15 Dec 2009, Gavin Corder wrote:

    Why are people having to discuss today's topic on householders' response to catching burglars on a blog post about fictitious PMs rules?

    Can someone get a grip with this show's output? Make another one paragraph blog post under a new heading you lazy bunch of slackers!

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  • 15. At 1:09pm on 15 Dec 2009, Gavin Corder wrote:

    Sarnia wrote:

    "Surely it's not about whether we 'understand' his reactions (of course people have sympathy) but whether the law is right as it stands?"

    In a democracy, if the law is not in accordance with the wishes of the majority of the people then the law must be changed. Sadly though the political parties do not make manifesto pledges in accordance with the actual wishes of the people. If they did, Mr Hussein would have our blessing, the burglar would be doing a ten stretch and we would the death penalty as the ultimate sanction under the law.

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  • 16. At 3:41pm on 15 Dec 2009, Tempus Fugit wrote:

    "we would the death penalty as the ultimate sanction under the law."

    Meeep. "Sorry but the EU says no."

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  • 17. At 01:35am on 16 Dec 2009, Sarnia wrote:

    Gavin - re your comment (no. 14). Several of us have asked this question several times over several months.

    The 'blog' was touted as an alternative to the MBs. The 'blog' is cited on a daily basis as a place to leave comment yet the 'blog' is not updated on a daily basis and the comments left are ignored.

    They're hoping we're all going to give up and go away.

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  • 18. At 09:42am on 16 Dec 2009, Tempus Fugit wrote:

    Actually, selected blog posts on the Moan-In blog appear on the Live stream message thingy during the programme. However, you do have a point about the other programme's blogs...

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  • 19. At 10:11am on 16 Dec 2009, zelda wrote:

    16.12.09 10.10am

    No fresh blog for the Jay Hunt Interview??????

    I wonder why.

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  • 20. At 10:11am on 16 Dec 2009, cassandra wrote:

    Re the MP's 5live book - presumably the BBC are going to produce a book for each MP? That's about 660 I believe.

    I really object to this, for one, being produced in 'my' name (I bet my views aren't represented) and especially as a licence payer I object to the costs involved in this pointless exercise.

    Can we produce one giving our views on how the BBC should be run?
    (how about a effective place to have our views seen on the website for a start - are you going to listen to US?)

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  • 21. At 10:38am on 16 Dec 2009, Binkie wrote:

    Yes where is the new blog concerning Jay Hunt ?

    Victoria, everytime you have an overpaid BBC Trust ' General ' or Controller on your show you allow them to arrogantly babble on incoherently and talk over you.

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  • 22. At 10:48am on 16 Dec 2009, cassandra wrote:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/culturevideo/tvandradiovideo/5960636/BBC-executive-Jay-Hunt-facing-questions-over-her-husbands-media-training-company.html

    OOh. wonder if this was resolved?

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  • 23. At 11:01am on 16 Dec 2009, Binkie wrote:

    If Jay Hunt has had any media training off her husbands company I would ask for my money back.

    Just her saying continuously ' We are working incredibily hard... ' is a bit of a cop out and doesn't really wash anymore when answering questions.

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  • 24. At 11:29am on 16 Dec 2009, laughingmarmalade wrote:

    cant believe someone is crying over Tiger Woods having an affair!!!!!!!!!

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  • 25. At 11:33am on 16 Dec 2009, Tempus Fugit wrote:

    "Victoria, everytime you have an overpaid BBC Trust ' General ' or Controller on your show you allow them to arrogantly babble on incoherently and talk over you."

    Maybe that's because Victoria likes her job and wants to keep it?!! - he said tongue-in-cheek. ;-)

    Re: Tiger Woods. Haven't changed my opinion mainly because, despite being a good golfer, I caught the whiff of the corruption of fame and notoriety as soon as it landed on him. Apart from adding "cheating so-and-so" to the list of smart remarks, he's still an over-paid prima donna who knows how to ruin a good walk. Mrs. Woods is a lovely-looking lady and by all accounts a very lovely person, too, so one can only conclude that Tiger is either barking mad, has no respect for her or is so up his own rear that he's got "groupie syndrome" and thinks it's owed to him. More likely all three. I've no sympathy for him and every sympathy for her. She'd be mad to stick with him - leopards don't change their spots - and I can only hope she takes him to the cleaners in, for the childs benefit, a swift and less-than-public divorce. Cheats never prosper, after all.

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  • 26. At 11:36am on 16 Dec 2009, Tempus Fugit wrote:

    "I really object to this, for one, being produced"

    Likewise - is this a sensible use of licence money, in these straitened times and at a time when the BBC has been in the news over reducing bloated salaries...?

    Why not just list it in an open letter and e-mail it en masse to all MPs, party leaders and PPCs...?

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  • 27. At 2:13pm on 16 Dec 2009, DaPonte wrote:

    When is Victoria going to interview Adrian Van Klaveren on her programme, asking him, especially, the questions raised on the 'answering your questions about Radio Five' blog, which are still unanswered, including the money spent on her jaunt to Zimbabwe and South Africa? How about a bit of accountability?

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  • 28. At 3:41pm on 16 Dec 2009, Binkie wrote:

    Here we have the cosy little world of the BBC on display.

    An overpaid presenter interviewing an overpaid BBC controller with a series of soft questions.It makes a mockery of the whole thing.

    I suppose this is where journalistic principles go out the window when an employee interviews an employer.

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  • 29. At 4:18pm on 16 Dec 2009, Binkie wrote:

    Btw well done in burying these criticisms on Mondays blog.

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  • 30. At 5:43pm on 16 Dec 2009, Tempus Fugit wrote:

    Is Victoria overpaid? I don't doubt that the Controller is, however. And what of repeats? I read recently that there are to be 600 hours of repeats over the Xmas schedule alone. Surely we are due a refund on the basis of being shown all these programmes again that we have already paid for with previous telly-tax contributions...?!!!

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  • 31. At 01:26am on 17 Dec 2009, Sarnia wrote:

    Agree with Cassandra (both comments). Don't give a toss about Tiger Woods - he's human, rich, and a magnet for women. Same old; same old.

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  • 32. At 10:54am on 17 Dec 2009, Binkie wrote:

    It is extremely welcome that on this mornings programme that you finally got around to highlighting the case of women being sexual abusers and not just males.

    Nice to see you striking a balance for once on reporting this very serious issue.

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  • 33. At 11:08am on 17 Dec 2009, DaPonte wrote:

    It's such a serious topic that surely it merits a blog of its own, rather than having comments hidden away on Monday's blog.

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  • 34. At 11:39am on 17 Dec 2009, Binkie wrote:

    Yes well I agree with that DaPonte.

    It completely devalues the whole interactive process.

    It can't take that much of an effort to start a daily blog and just list topics listeners wish to comment on ?

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  • 35. At 09:32am on 18 Dec 2009, laughingmarmalade wrote:

    is it still monday?? I thought it had been a long week!

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  • 36. At 10:21am on 18 Dec 2009, Binkie wrote:

    The BBC and 5live are obviously more concerned about an overpaid Radio 2 dj retiring, than setting up a new blog.

    What a load of old rubbish.

    The undeserved, massive ego trips on display at the BBC just amazes me.

    ' Wogan retires !!! '

    Obviously fascinating.

    I must hold a day of mourning.My life is ruined.

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  • 37. At 10:32am on 18 Dec 2009, Sarnia wrote:

    I don't listen to Wogan but I suppose for a lot of people he became a part of their lives.

    I'm quite saddened that today is Simon Mayo's last day; I will miss his intelligent, well resesarched, mature and interested output. It's an absolute farce that he is going to be replaced by an immature, shouty egotist who is far better suited to a late night spot.

    That, to me, is the final nail in the coffin of intelligent weekday broadcasting on 5 Live.

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  • 38. At 10:45am on 18 Dec 2009, zelda wrote:

    I wish Sir Terry Wogan the very best, he is IMO a great natural broadcaster and a great wit. It's a shame I dislike most of the music played on his programme or I would have listened more.

    But hey ho, now it's time to discuss Strictly Come Dancing. Oh well, from the sublime to the ridiculous.

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  • 39. At 10:51am on 18 Dec 2009, laughingmarmalade wrote:

    agree with you sarnia that simon will be sadly missed - he was the one you could rely on for an intelligent discussion and a bit of humour as well

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  • 40. At 11:16am on 18 Dec 2009, Binkie wrote:

    We can always rely on Victoria's programme for intelligent broadcasting.

    I have no doubt that the buying of football kits could be construed as being in this category.

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  • 41. At 12:27pm on 18 Dec 2009, Binkie wrote:

    Next time my Tesco's delivery is late , I must remember to phone Victoria and get her to sort it out for me and I'd advise everyone to do the same.

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  • 42. At 10:18am on 19 Dec 2009, Tempus Fugit wrote:

    Come now, Leonard - Wogan's a national institution!

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  • 43. At 10:08am on 21 Dec 2009, zelda wrote:

    21.12.09 - NO NEW BLOG AGAIN!

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  • 44. At 11:21am on 21 Dec 2009, Tempus Fugit wrote:

    "What I want from my MP is..." an assurance that there will be a fresh morning programme blog topic daily.

    ;-)

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  • 45. At 10:02am on 22 Dec 2009, cassandra wrote:

    Hello! Anybody there?

    This blog started on the 14th, it's now the 22nd.............

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  • 46. At 10:12am on 22 Dec 2009, zelda wrote:

    Wot? STILL no new blog??????? 22.12.09

    Anyone would think they couldn't be bothered cassandra!

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  • 47. At 12:35pm on 22 Dec 2009, wendymann wrote:

    something quite strange about 5live (in fact across bbc) news output in that it doesnt exist except for a very narrow band of pointless headlines that are repeatedly broadcast.

    its as if they dont want us to know.

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  • 48. At 12:42pm on 22 Dec 2009, wendymann wrote:

    " simon will be sadly missed "

    not here, always find him bland and boring, what actually made his show : those chosen as his guests - the good ones shine despite his lack of research and insight the rest are soon forgotten as mere pluggers of a book or a film etc .

    if vicky could attract some intelligent funny guests onto her show then she could be just like simon too . the question is can she?



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