I've now been a local councillor for nearly a year - and the more my eyes are opened to the "system" the more I am convinced that everyone in Westminster should be forced to do time in local government.
Housing is a big issue - house prices are rising so fast that many people become desperate. In my ward we have just had a farmer put up a 20ft high wall of straw bales so he could build a 3 bedroom house without planning permission.
At the latest Parish Council meeting, local residents clearly felt this is deeply wrong - but what can be done? The legal process is that the owner must now apply for retrospective planning permission and the application will be judged as if it had never been built. Everyone has to sit back and wait for an independent planning commission.
In the meantime, I am not allowed to say anything. If I express any opinion I could be deemed to be "pre-determined" and would lose my right to vote. Imagine how MPs would feel if they were not allowed to express their views on issues before the day of a vote? At least the newspapers would be lighter.