Public Affairs: Douglas Carswell, Conservative MP for Harwich and Clacton

Sir Christopher Kelly's recommendations on reforming MPs expenses must be welcomed. The only depressing thing about them is that it should have taken a technocrat, such as Sir Christopher, to apply common sense.

I suspect too many MPs answer inwardly to Westminster, rather than outwardly to local voters. Too many asked 'Is this allowed?' rather than 'Will my constituents accept this?' With so many MPs coming from 'safe seats', it is easy to see why. Closure on the expense scandal means not just implementing the Kelly report. It means restoring faith in politics by giving people a much greater say over who gets to stand for public office in the first place.

As well as open primaries to decide candidates, we need a right of recall so that local people can sack MPs they feel have let them down. The power of direct democracy, made possible by the internet, is being unleashed. MPs are starting to grasp it, but it will go far beyond Westminster. Wherever there sit unaccountable hierarchies, the post-bureaucratic age will bring big change.

The BBC, top civil servants and quangocrats, take note. What you have seen overturn the existing order in Westminster is coming your way, too. Adapt, or like some MPs, get swept away.

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