Democracy did not fail today, but Parliament, the tool in which we ply our democracy did fail when the speaker refused to allow a debate on his future in an uncharacteristically busy chamber.
The Parliamentary System is built upon the supposition that it will be filled with and defended by Honourable Members, the fault in our system is in the difficulties we encounter when honour is challenged by dishonourable members. Speaker Martin and Prime Minister Brown will continue to put their pocket books, their ambitions and their positions in their political party ahead of the wishes of the public, and seemingly ahead of the wishes of Parliament. The absence of a vote confirms the worst suspicions of the electorate.
Public disdain over the MPs expenses issue is still growing and in reply to public cries of foul-play and fraud we have heard in return acknowledgements that the system must be changed and that it will be done by our repenting politicians. At the head of the list of required actions, before anything can be done is the need to remove the man at the top of the chain whose responsibility it has been over the last decade to ensure transparency and protect the public purse.
The failure to remove Michael Martin demonstrates how it will be impossible to put forward the required changes that will satisfy the public at large. Because of Mr Martins alleged pay deals, he doesn't get his pension unless an election is called; it seems that he is going to fight tooth and nail to secure that.
Well, the future of Parliament is in Gordon Browns hands, for the Speaker declared that any motion on his future needed government sponsorship, despite Gordon Brown having said already it was a matter for MP’s. Upon entering 10 Downing Street on 27th June 2007 the new Prime Minister declared:
"At all time I will be strong in purpose, steadfast in will and resolute in action in the service of what matters most to the British people: meeting the concerns and aspirations of the whole country... I want the best of chances for everyone, that is my mission."
Might I be so bold as to suggest that Gordon Browns sole purpose for what time he remains in high office is to do what he can to restore faith to Parliament. It does need to be MPs that need to make the changes needed, but the service the UK needs most from The Prime Minister right now is a debate and vote on the current Speaker - make that happen, table an appropriate motion and let MPs vote freely.
If this situation is allowed to roll on, the focus will become sharply focused on the PM. The Sunday Mail hinted that the Queen could dissolve Parliament, The Sun has called for an election and tonight Ben Brogan has also called for David Cameron to call for a motion of no confidence on Gordon Brown.
The question now is, if the Speaker does not go, will the political ramifications bring down the government? Or, will Mr Brown summon the acumen to act and prevent this?