The Constitution provides Congress with plenty of tools to hold the White House to account. So what moves does the legislative branch have left?
Source: Well, impeachment didn’t work – how else can Congress keep President Trump in check? : The Conversation
The last century has seen a well-intentioned, but largely self-defeating, attempt to improve the honesty, responsiveness, and accountability of our political system by spending more on it. Instead, we have seen the rise of an increasingly well insulated professional political class, the hollowing out of voluntary parties, and the creation of an institutional ratchet which is dragging political thought to the statist establishment left.
1911 saw the first Parliamentary pay structure introduced in an attempt to curb what were perceived to be unaccountable outside influences on MPs’ political priorities and decision-making. It was also an attempt to widen access to political careers. The second of these reasons, however, does not really stand up as a justification. This reform happened at a time when such access was already widening considerably, largely as a result of the “outside influences” – or independent interests, such as trade unions, cooperative societies and philanthropists. The widening access we have seen over the past century would be likely to have occurred anyway. So, we are left with a system which depends for its legitimacy on the somewhat contentious proposition that the last century has seen a profound and remarkable rise in the honesty and fairmindedness of our Parliament.
The payroll for our MPs, in turn, led to allowances for Peers, MPs’ expenses, and the proliferation of MPs’ staff, and most perniciously of all, Short Money.
Clearly Parliamentarians and their staff must be paid but each extension of the taxpayer’s largesse has helped to establish a career path for the so-called “career politicians” of tabloid ire and a largely unaccountable ecosystem of policy advisors, researchers and party staff insulated from outside influences, contributing to the increasing disconnect between political decision-makers and the wider community. As with any institution, these party machines have developed their own independent interests and agendas.
Source: Gareth Lyon: By professionalising councillors, we are repeating Parliament’s mistake at a local level | Conservative Home
Originally posted on Govt Newspeak:
It comes after housing associations demanded action from the DWP to close the “bizarre” loophole. Universal Credit could face an overhaul over an issue that housing associations warn will lead to thousands losing out on a week’s rent. Head of Policy at the National Housing Federation: “It’s a really serious situation.…
The Benefits and Work website have reported that a number of their members in recent weeks have been been made to go through a second Personal Independent Payment (PIP) assessment before a decision is made on their award, because there was a problem with the first assessment report.
One member faced a two hour assessment on Christmas Eve. In January they were contacted by Capita and told that the assessment was “incomplete” and that someone was to be “sent round to finish it.”
Capita have refused to say what information was missing and would not provide a copy of the report until it was complete.
Source: Disabled people forced to go through two disability benefit assessments : Welfare Weekly
We need to ensure that there is no door to shut, Tory Esther McVey is only there because she was voted in by her constituents and could be out by 2020 or even earlier.
What is urgently required is that accountability needs to be incorporated into Ministerial positions and a challenge re accountability should be made available for constituents to be able to trigger as in the case of MPs writing letters of no confidence in respect of Prime Ministers.
At our third Stronger Together event, we brought together families and providers, along with some colleagues from NHS England to look at what makes a difference and what can we do now. It wasn’t about changes in legislation, it was about transforming the way we work and working with what we have.
Let’s be honest, legislation without true accountability is as useful as an ashtray on a motorcycle.
In our recent post, we talked about what the families and providers had to say about when relationships work between families, providers and commissioners. However, in order to be realistic, we also have to talk about when relationships don’t work.
When it didn’t go well.
- When staff and home is 300 miles away, transition is difficult.
- Hospital don’t like home staff being allowed in unit so no way for young person or family to get to work together before discharge.
- No communication with the other Borough’s teams
- Young person was seen as a diagnosis, not as an individual
- Family were seen as the problem
- Family did not get to share their vast knowledge or insight into what helps, works and doesn’t for their child or young person
- Autism seen as a mental health issue
- Not enough understanding of behaviour being a symptom
Source: Relationships between families, providers and commissioners  – Bringing Us Together
When will appropriate action be taken against the DWP for these cases keep surfacing but no one is held accountable.
This strengthens my agruement that this whole process is geared to kill claimant, which is a sure fire way to reduce the benefits costs.
The DWP should be held on a charge of Murder.