A sad night for the democratic process
This evening you probably spent an enjoyable evening doing whatever you normally do on a Monday evening.
I tuned into the TV channel BBC Parliament.
There was a debate in the House of Commons on the subject of the regulation of independent financial advisers. This happened because of extensive lobbying by those independent financial advisers who are resistant to the changes proposed by the Retail Distribution Review (RDR).
It is only fair and proper that important changes are debated and debated rigorously.
Sadly what we witnessed in the House this evening was not a debate at all. It was a poorly disguised series of statements read out by MPs and presumably written by those constituents who had taken the trouble to lobby their MPs.
What was clear was that none of the speakers had paid us the courtesy of actually informing themselves about the content of the RDR proposals.
What we heard yet again was inaccurate suggestions that the RDR would force clients to pay fees and that experienced (for which read aged) IFAs would not be able to take and pass the required examinations.
This evening the ignorance of our MPs shined brightly.
It was not a debate at all. A debate requires both sides of an argument to be presented and the absence of the balance was conspicuous by its absence.
This was a sad night for the democratic process.