Does the UK need a written Constitution?

I think there's a very good case for parliamentary reform now.
You're wrong.

The case is overwhelming, and it isn't so much parliament that needs reformation, it's the constitutional framework.

By dint of being unwritten, our constitution is implicit: all things to all men. It is nigh on impossible to put a finger on changes, until years after the damage is done.

That is why we have, at present, a Parliament that is demonstrably unaccountable: neither to its electorate, nor to its titular Head of State, the monarch.

This should be of deep concern to all of us, irrespective of sentiment in relation to membership of the EU.

Those who want out because they feel disenfranchised on matters European, you might want to ask how enfranchised you currently feel in relation to matters Brexit.

Knowing that you will all say you're being cheated: how's about you stop grizzling about individuals and 'this parliament' and ask yourself why the checks, the balances, the customs and traditions of what we (with characteristically blind English hubris) think of as "mother of all parliaments" are not sufficient to the needs of our current national crisis.
 
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You're wrong.

The case is overwhelming, and it isn't so much parlaiment that needs reforemation, it's the constitutional framework.

By dint of being unwritten, our constitution is implicit: all things to all men. It is nigh on impossible to put a finger on changes, until years after the damage is done.

That is why we have, at present, a Parliament that is demonstrably unaccountable: neither to its electorate, nor to its titular Head of State, the monarch.

This should be of deep concern to all of us, irrespective of sentiment in relation to membership of the EU.

Those who want out because they feel disenfranchised on matters European, you might want to ask how enfranchised you currently feel in relation to matters Brexit.

Knowing that you will all say you're being cheated: how's about you stop grizzling about individuals and 'this parliament' and ask yourself why the checks, the balances, the customs and traditions of what we (with characteristically blind English hubris) think of as "mother of all parliaments" are not sufficient to the needs of our current national crisis.
I suppose it's a different thread subject really.

My comment was inspired by reading these:



Have a read through them.
 
You're wrong.

The case is overwhelming, and it isn't so much parlaiment that needs reforemation, it's the constitutional framework.

By dint of being unwritten, our constitution is implicit: all things to all men. It is nigh on impossible to put a finger on changes, until years after the damage is done.

That is why we have, at present, a Parliament that is demonstrably unaccountable: neither to its electorate, nor to its titular Head of State, the monarch.

This should be of deep concern to all of us, irrespective of sentiment in relation to membership of the EU.

Those who want out because they feel disenfranchised on matters European, you might want to ask how enfranchised you currently feel in relation to matters Brexit.

Knowing that you will all say you're being cheated: how's about you stop grizzling about individuals and 'this parliament' and ask yourself why the checks, the balances, the customs and traditions of what we (with characteristically blind English hubris) think of as "mother of all parliaments" are not sufficient to the needs of our current national crisis.
Well I know how disenfranchised I feel here, when the English have to put up with a British Parliament ,let alone the non entity of the EP
 

Caecilius

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Nah.

His primary concern is his good self. Hence his volte-face on the Remain sentiments he had long espused to CMD when it looked like 'Remain' was the smart career expedient.
I know this is the normal analysis, but it ignores the fact that remain was tipped to win right up until they started counting the votes. Given that BoJo was already due to rise in the conservative party and would have stood a good chance of succeeding Cameron (who had already declared that he wouldn't stand again) Boris's decision to burn all his bridges and switch to remain was extremely high risk if it was done for career reasons.

Either way, he's clearly calculated that his political future hinges on driving through brexit so thats the only thing that matters to him in parliament at the moment and therefore any majority he may have had was only a technical one. His excessively confrontational approach probably encouraged more conservative members to defect but he never had a majority for anything related to brexit.
 
I know this is the normal analysis, but it ignores the fact that remain was tipped to win right up until they started counting the votes. Given that BoJo was already due to rise in the conservative party and would have stood a good chance of succeeding Cameron (who had already declared that he wouldn't stand again) Boris's decision to burn all his bridges and switch to remain was extremely high risk if it was done for career reasons.

Either way, he's clearly calculated that his political future hinges on driving through brexit so thats the only thing that matters to him in parliament at the moment and therefore any majority he may have had was only a technical one. His excessively confrontational approach probably encouraged more conservative members to defect but he never had a majority for anything related to brexit.
Waffle. Wordy wordy wordy.

Nub: He's a man with no principles.
 

Caecilius

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
You're wrong.

The case is overwhelming, and it isn't so much parlaiment that needs reforemation, it's the constitutional framework.

By dint of being unwritten, our constitution is implicit: all things to all men. It is nigh on impossible to put a finger on changes, until years after the damage is done.

That is why we have, at present, a Parliament that is demonstrably unaccountable: neither to its electorate, nor to its titular Head of State, the monarch.

This should be of deep concern to all of us, irrespective of sentiment in relation to membership of the EU.

Those who want out because they feel disenfranchised on matters European, you might want to ask how enfranchised you currently feel in relation to matters Brexit.

Knowing that you will all say you're being cheated: how's about you stop grizzling about individuals and 'this parliament' and ask yourself why the checks, the balances, the customs and traditions of what we (with characteristically blind English hubris) think of as "mother of all parliaments" are not sufficient to the needs of our current national crisis.
A written constitution is a terrible idea, especially in the present circumstances. The problem at the moment isn't being caused by the unwritten bits of the constitution, it's being caused almost exclusively by the written bits. The key culprit is the fixed term parliament act. If it weren't for that the constitution would be doing just fine.

Until 2010 we had a perfectly workable consitutional check on executive power - elections. Governments could either choose to have an election or parliament could vote for an election. This meant that neither group could run a significant democratic deficit. Now we have a situation where MPs can deliberately avoid having an election that they know they will lose in order to control the government.

Bin the FTPA and all will be well.
 
all will be well
Really?

You've no issues with a powerless Head of State, or a Second Chamber stuffed with political place men?

Unwritten constitution is democracy built on sand.

Thatcher was the first Presidential PM, B'liar the most egregious to date, Boris is an also-ran wannabe with JRM as puppeteer, yet as a nation we're so fixated on the Brexit/Remain squabble we gloss over the damage we're doing to ourselves in consequence.
 

Caecilius

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Really?

You've no issues with a powerless Head of State, or a Second Chamber stuffed with political place men?
I'm not sure how either of those are remotely relevant to the current democratic issues. I certainly don't think there's any problem with the continuation of a constitutional monarchy. There's a good argument for Lords reform, but there's no consensus on how I'm not sure now is a good time.

Unwritten constitution is democracy built on sand.
The USA and Russia are both democracies with written constiutions. I don't think a written constitution is the elixir you're looking for.

As well as being wordy wordy wordy

Always wordywordywordy . . .:wink:
Well yes. Discussing ideas seems to be the point of an internet forum. But I guess if you can't counter my argument you can always complain that two short paragraphs is too long for you to read. ;)
 
The USA and Russia are both democracies with written constiutions. I don't think a written constitution is the elixir you're looking
Bad comparison.

Not least because the Russian constitution was written under Gorbachev in a last ditch attempt to preserve Party rule in a Soviet Union on the verge of collapse.

More fool us Westerners: by our Press it was presented as a move to democracy, when it was nothing of the sort, and facilitated the rise of Putin.

It's a gangster's constitution.

I'm with WSC: democracy is the worst possible form of government, apart from all of the others that have ever been invented.

Ours is broken. For several decades it has not worked as we like to imagine.

We are reaping the consequences now.

Nail it down. Then you've at least got a baseline. And yes - I know - America ain't perfect (hence Trump), but their boundaries are more explicit, and that can't be a bad thing.
 

Caecilius

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Ours is broken. For several decades it has not worked as we like to imagine.
When hasn't it worked, other than over the last couple of years?

Nail it down. Then you've at least got a baseline. And yes - I know - America ain't perfect (hence Trump), but their boundaries are more explicit, and that can't be a bad thing
What's does nailing it down mean? Once you have a baseline you can't easily change it - that's the point of a codified constitution - so how do you possibly arrive at a satisfactory constitution in the midst of the current high-tempers?

Saying America isn't perfect is one hell of an understatement. It's very hard to look at America and not think they're in a much worse place than us. They have major societal issues that they can't resolve because their 1700s written constitution blocks them from doing so. That consitution also leads them to a judiciary that is nakedly partisan and functions as the superior chamber in a tricameral system, despite being unelected and holding tenure for life. That's significantly less democratic than our system, even if our supreme court is moving in that direction.
 
When hasn't it worked, other than over the last couple of years?
Democracy in the UK was traditionally allied to the notion of 'fairness'. People accepted the results of a simplistic one man one vote FPP system within a defined franchise which was regarded as a fair representation of the demographic of the day.

People also tended to accept their place in society (an extension of the Protestant Ethic) as a fair representation of their status and they believed it was fair (and achievable) that if one wanted to improve their status or their standard of living then they got up off their butt and did something about it.

Whether through technological determinants or (more likely) global capital economics, the distance between where people are and what is desirable has become less achievable and thus, society is no longer perceived as 'fair'. It has nothing to do with 'equality' per se - a somewhat utopian concept in any event. But it has everything to do with the marshalling of political power through the ownership of, and access to resources.

It is inherently unfair, has been developing for several generations and will inevitably be challenged until changed.
 
Really?

You've no issues with a powerless Head of State, or a Second Chamber stuffed with political place men?

Unwritten constitution is democracy built on sand.

Thatcher was the first Presidential PM, B'liar the most egregious to date, Boris is an also-ran wannabe with JRM as puppeteer, yet as a nation we're so fixated on the Brexit/Remain squabble we gloss over the damage we're doing to ourselves in consequence.
You sound like a socialist and a republican.
 
When hasn't it worked, other than over the last couple of years?
Most recently, when MP's expenses were at issue, and The Crown declined to intervene.

The point about the current mess is that - having let our constitutional arrangements drift over time - the cracks in the fabric have only now become evident, when the structure is under crucial stress.

That's no way to design an airliner.

America's issues, I would argue, are less rooted in the Constitution, and more rooted in the cultures (assorted) of that nation.
 
Bad comparison.

Not least because the Russian constitution was written under Gorbachev in a last ditch attempt to preserve Party rule in a Soviet Union on the verge of collapse.

More fool us Westerners: by our Press it was presented as a move to democracy, when it was nothing of the sort, and facilitated the rise of Putin.

It's a gangster's constitution.

I'm with WSC: democracy is the worst possible form of government, apart from all of the others that have ever been invented.

Ours is broken. For several decades it has not worked as we like to imagine.

We are reaping the consequences now.

Nail it down. Then you've at least got a baseline. And yes - I know - America ain't perfect (hence Trump), but their boundaries are more explicit, and that can't be a bad thing.
Given the plethora of bad law we've been subjected to for the last couple of decades, I wouldn't trust those Arrseclowns in parliament - of any political stripe - to produce anything resembling a fair and equitable national constitution.

I would expect a rambling document designed to be dragged through the courts endlessly, serving nothing but lawyers' bank balances.

We should hold a referendum over it. That always works out well.
 
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Auld-Yin

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Waffle. Wordy wordy wordy.

Nub: He's a man with no principles.
Which seems to sum up Remainers and anti BoJo posters - fingers in the ears and listen to nothing. Minds are made up and fixed - closed!
 

Auld-Yin

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A written constitution is a terrible idea, especially in the present circumstances. The problem at the moment isn't being caused by the unwritten bits of the constitution, it's being caused almost exclusively by the written bits. The key culprit is the fixed term parliament act. If it weren't for that the constitution would be doing just fine.

Until 2010 we had a perfectly workable consitutional check on executive power - elections. Governments could either choose to have an election or parliament could vote for an election. This meant that neither group could run a significant democratic deficit. Now we have a situation where MPs can deliberately avoid having an election that they know they will lose in order to control the government.

Bin the FTPA and all will be well.
Good post and a very pertinent view and solution to the parliamentary issues.
 

Auld-Yin

ADC
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You lack patience

As well as being wordy wordy wordy

Always wordywordywordy . . .:wink:
You used to post reasonably well. It is sad to see how your adherence to Remain has reduced you to a dribbler, close to a Troll.
 

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