Does the UK need a written Constitution?

FORMER_FYRDMAN

LE
Book Reviewer
Waffle. Wordy wordy wordy.

Nub: He's a man with no principles.
This is an interesting topic and there are some good points being made on all sides.

Rather than being obnoxious to reasonable posters and turning this into yet another Brexit car crash thread, if all you want to do is make yourself feel better, why don't you turn off your computer and go for a walk?
 

Themanwho

LE
Book Reviewer
You appear not to have read, or perhaps simply don't like, the reply you got from @Kinch, in #41.
Erm, how does this answer my question to you:
The royal prerogative is almost entirely controlled through the advice of the PM or his/her cabinet. However in an emergency where there is no adequate precedent in common law, the monarch may exercise the prerogative independently. In effect, the source of the Monarch's authority lies in common law.
(as pointed out by @Caecilius)

So, one last time: Where is it said other than your posts, that the Monarch holds her MPs to account?
 
When hasn't it worked, other than over the last couple of years?



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.
“Once you write something down it becomes fixed. It becomes dogma. People can argue about it, they become authoritative, they refer to the texts, they produce new manuscripts, they argue more and soon they’re putting each other to death. If you never write anything down then no one knows exactly what you said so you can always change it.”
― Bernard Cornwell, The Winter King: A Novel of Arthur
The legal/cultural basis of a society must be free to change in order for that society to continue to evolve relatively peacefully. I think there are very good reasons why we did not suffer the bloody political contractions common in Europe since we settled the Crown/Parliament question with a civil war. The EU will inevitably lead to another such contraction given time. They will overreach eventually, possibly over a small matter in a small, poorly regarded EU province and it will all kick off again. EU meddling in Ukrainian politics was an example of what could go wrong when the new European Aristocracy starts getting too big for it's boots.
 
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.
Because Cleggy talked Cameron into the fixed term Parliament act in order to keep the LibDem snout in the trough for as long as possible in the knowledge that the electorate was going to punish them for abandoning their soul in the pursuit of power. A bit like they are doing now.
 

Caecilius

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Because Cleggy talked Cameron into the fixed term Parliament act in order to keep the LibDem snout in the trough for as long as possible in the knowledge that the electorate was going to punish them for abandoning their soul in the pursuit of power. A bit like they are doing now.
I think this is a little harsh. The Lib Dems went into government because they believed it was the best thing to do for the country and that moderating the Tory party was a laudable goal. Arguably there's something in that. They also attempted coalition talks with labour but were rebuffed.
 

endure

GCM
This is an interesting topic and there are some good points being made on all sides.

Rather than being obnoxious to reasonable posters and turning this into yet another Brexit car crash thread, if all you want to do is make yourself feel better, why don't you turn off your computer and go for a wa*k?

FOC
 
I think this is a little harsh. The Lib Dems went into government because they believed it was the best thing to do for the country and that moderating the Tory party was a laudable goal. Arguably there's something in that. They also attempted coalition talks with labour but were rebuffed.
I am not arguing against coalition government, although your rose-tinted view of LibDem motives is mildly amusing. I am pointing out that the FTPA had no real function except to keep the LibDems at the top table for as long as possible.
 

Caecilius

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
I am not arguing against coalition government, although your rose-tinted view of LibDem motives is mildly amusing. I am pointing out that the FTPA had no real function except to keep the LibDems at the top table for as long as possible.
It was to keep the coalition together, which isn't quite the same thing. If anything it was to keep Cameron in place rather than the Lib Dems as they would most likely have formed an alternative government with Labour if the coalition collapsed and an election resulted in another hung parliament.
 
This is an interesting topic and there are some good points being made on all sides.

Rather than being obnoxious to reasonable posters and turning this into yet another Brexit car crash thread, if all you want to do is make yourself feel better, why don't you turn off your computer and go for a walk?
Count the number and frequency of my posts on this thread, against his.

O - and the word count therein.

Then stick both up yer chuff :thumleft:
 
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Auld-Yin

ADC
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Reviews Editor
I have said that I don't think we need a written constitution and don't see the need to change that POV; however I do think we need a written and enforceable set of rules for various posts within the Palace of Westminster. This would include the roles and powers of:

The Executive
The PM
The Leader of the Opposition
The Speaker

There has been a lot of hot air flying about Parliament with procedures being allowed which are not backed up by precedent or convention. We now have a parliament which is not run by the Executive, nor even by the Leader of the Opposition but by Backbenchers. It is worth noting that Backbenchers are not required to appear at the Despatch Box to explain their actions, as Ministers are so required, so we are being run by people who are not held to account.

Parliament just now is a complete farce run on the whim of the Speaker and the declarations of the Courts - not what anyone voted for at any time, despite what @Brotherton Lad continually says.

So: No written constitution needed but an enforceable set of rules is. These rules should make it easier to remove The Speaker if he/she works outwith their remit, as the current one clearly is. The other posts are Party appointments so more difficult to change and are usually done on elections.

The first act of any new Parliament should be to get rid of the Fixed Term Parliament Act (FTPA) which would have seen this farce nipped in the bud a long time ago had it been done away with.
 

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