If you asked to mark one feature of the opposition under Blurple 3 many of us would find the word “transparency” floating in our head. So when the two main opposition parties entered government under the guise of a Phoenix everyone rightly assumed the transparency they championed while in opposition would be applied while in government. How wrong we were.
One major issue the opposition had was the lack of clarity and information on Brexit. Such an important issue demanded constant updates to the House they claimed. So naturally one would assume that under their tenure, we would have had at least 1 statement on the EU negotiations. But you would be wrong. Parliament has had no update on progress and frankly we are in the dark on an era defining political decision. Anyone would think they could smell a whiff of hypocrisy.
Furthermore, as of writing, the Minister for Housing, Communities and Local Government hasn’t been replaced, despite leaving his role a number of days ago. The Minister for School Standards is also still a member of the government apparently, despite leaving politics many weeks ago. While sometimes it can be hard to find the right candidate for these positions, this lack of acknowledgement and simple laziness is an almost “up yours” gesture to anyone who wants to see an active and engaged government.
Minister’s Questions are where things get better. Not. The government already had a poor record with MQs, with the Secretary of State for Work, Labour and Skills breaching CCR and missing half their questions, the Northern Ireland Secretary had a similar showing. After these fiascos, any reasonable person would think that the government would be keen to avoid another scenario. 8 days ago, Justice MQs ended. No questions have been answered. The mere fact that an entire MQs session has gone unanswered is worrying, when you consider the shenanigans the government has tried to pull with the civil injunctions bill which was seen by many as a direct attack on the indepence of the judiciary it takes a much more sinister turn. Foreign MQs ended 3 days ago. While I am very aware the Acting Foreign Secretary is also the Prime Minister no questions have been answered. Nor have we been given a “Don’t worry they’re coming” message. Again the government seems to disappear at MQs perhaps when they’re needed most. For those who have forgotten, this MQ occurred just after the D11 summit and transcript incident which many members of the House sought further clarification on. Instead of answering these vital questions, the acting foreign secretary seems to be taking a leisurely time to write an apology to India. While the act is appreciated, a bit of attention to his own affairs would go a lot further.
This is quite frankly an affront to Parliament and to people across the country. For an opposition which was so keen to uphold transparency, they have shirked from this as soon as they possibly could. Not only is it cowardly but it is a clear sign of this government’s failure to govern and lead by example. May the electorate hold them to account.
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