Ken Clarke, responding to a question from Gary Gibbon that these petitions
could all be orchestrated by tabloid newspapers, said that there would be
filters from a 'Legislative Business Committee'. Parliament, he said,
should not be debating whether West Ham should have points deducted.
Quite right. Always liked that Ken Clarke...
Seriously, his Democracy Task Force proposals are absolutely excellent. I won't detail them all here as ConservativeHome has done a comprehensive summary HERE. I particularly like the petitions idea, whereby petitions which get huge numbers of signatories would then be debated. I refuse to cover any Number Ten online petitions as they are just a PR gimmick, but if there was a serious point to them, that would be different. The US style appointments scrutiny would also be a welcome move. It also seems from what I have seen that in general the power of whips would be reduced and that Parliament would be given the opportunity to reassert itself over the Executive. I would also like to see a return to a twice weekly Prime Minister's Question Time. It would be largely symbolic, but would demonstrate a greater commitment to parliamentary accountability.
You can download the PDF of the document HERE, courtesy of Guardian Online.