Stop playing politics with electoral boundaries

FORMER_FYRDMAN

LE
Book Reviewer
#1
Whilst I have some sympathy with a desire to reform the Lords, regardless of party advantage, it seems to me that the British electorate has a constitutional and moral right to expect Parliamentary constituencies to be fairly created and amended according to the generally agreed principles. On that basis, how can the Lib Dems justify withholding such amendments for reasons of party and policy advantage, particularly as we had a referendum on their pet subject and got trounced? Is it now time that we:

a) Developed a written constitution.
b) Established a constitutional court with the powers to reign in MPs when the constitution is breached and the responsibility to oversee those areas of the process where politicians are prone to cheat (this latter device has probably saved Germany from being sucked into Europe's economic abyss and might have prevented the debacle in Iraq had such a body existed).

Coalition formally splits over boundary reform - Telegraph
 

seaweed

LE
Book Reviewer
#2
Unfortunately the process is necessarily controlled by MPs and turkeys don't vote for Christmas. The need for Vince Cable to keep his seat may also have come into it. Personally I see it as totally undemocratic of the Lib 'Dems' to scupper a motion that would reduce the glaring inequalities between numbers in different constituencies. But every politician is in it for himself as they demonstrate on a continuing basis.
 
E

EScotia

Guest
#3
Bloody hell FF, I think that's the most sensible thing I've seen you suggest. It'll never happen unfortunately as turkeys don't vote for Christmas (sorry I meant Winter holiday).
 
#4
FF that's too sensible. We won't be allowed to have such protection from our betters.
 
#5
I rather liked the Guardians view of this, not that I would read that Liberal stripy jumper rag!
Lords Dobbs, Forsyth, front bencher Taylor tear strips off Clegg and LibDems as yellow b***ards join with Labour to vote down boundary reforms
 

Grumblegrunt

LE
Book Reviewer
#6
well reform is needed and was agreed its just a shame that clegg pissed all over his chance to reform the lords with a crap idea when david steel had a much better and instant way of sorting it out.

I thought the lords ran better when it was hereditary as there was less peerages to give to politicians, non celebs and donors. the old peers knew how the country ran and regarded it as a historic sense of duty with a good wine cellar.

labour cleverly jiggled the boundaries here and there to make it harder for anyone else including the lib dems. its just another example of the libs taking their ball home and showing themselves to be childish.
 
#7
Well said FF, I posted some time ago that if we had had a law limiting government spending to a maximum of 25% GDP (except in wartime of course), our political class and economy would look very ****ing different to today.
 

FORMER_FYRDMAN

LE
Book Reviewer
#8
Another innovation would be a floating Bank Holiday to mark tax freedom day for lower band tax payers. This would give Joe Soap a more comprehensible indicator of what any given budget actually meant and would reduce the sleight of hand from the Chancellor of the Exchequer. As an admirer of unwritten constitutions and the flexibility they endow, it's with great sadness that I have to admit they are not strong enough to withstand the cynicism of a professional political class and we now need some legally binding mechanisms to rein them in.
 
#9
Another innovation would be a floating Bank Holiday to mark tax freedom day for lower band tax payers. This would give Joe Soap a more comprehensible indicator of what any given budget actually meant and would reduce the sleight of hand from the Chancellor of the Exchequer. As an admirer of unwritten constitutions and the flexibility they endow, it's with great sadness that I have to admit they are not strong enough to withstand the cynicism of a professional political class and we now need some legally binding mechanisms to rein them in.
Damn right too..the headline income tax rate has become meaningless as an indicator of what you really pay, up to 35k pa headline rate is 20%...effective rate closer to 40%....thieving, lying, chiseling, backstabbing, self-serving and what is worse...wilfully stupid, bastards.
 
#10
A written Constitution would be a lawyers paradise, the volume of words required would make it unreadable, un-understandable and a licence to print money for the profession. Likewise I've always felt that Parliament should be Sovereign and (in the Lords) the highest court in the land.
 
#11
Apparently the issue of unequal constituency sizes should have been dealt with by the boundary comission years ago but unfortunately Labour were in power and as they benefitted from the status quo the situation remained unresolved. Clegg is just having a tantrum that he could not pull the wool over the voters eyes about proportional voting which would have given his party the balance of power in any future election and so he keeps moving the goal posts to screw everyone.
 

Grumblegrunt

LE
Book Reviewer
#12
are william, his missus or harry allowed to stand for parliament? just out of interest
 
#13
Not without renouncing the Throne and becoming commoners, despite the fact that they and HMQ are EU citizens beholden to a foreign court and thus enjoying the rights of any EU citizen to stand for election.
 

FORMER_FYRDMAN

LE
Book Reviewer
#14
A written Constitution would be a lawyers paradise, the volume of words required would make it unreadable, un-understandable and a licence to print money for the profession. Likewise I've always felt that Parliament should be Sovereign and (in the Lords) the highest court in the land.
Better a lawyer's paradise than a politician's. Any constitution wouldn't necessarily have to be a large volume of words either. As things stand, there's almost no way to control a Government outside of a Genera Election. Your model is an anachronism if our politicians won't recognise moral limits to their mandate and personal obligations to the dignity of the office.
 
#15
Better a lawyer's paradise than a politician's. Any constitution wouldn't necessarily have to be a large volume of words either. As things stand, there's almost no way to control a Government outside of a Genera Election. Your model is an anachronism if our politicians won't recognise moral limits to their mandate and personal obligations to the dignity of the office.
You are speaking my language FF, but a written constitution would be like the bible...interpreted to **** to suit the loonies of the moment...just a couple of laws..written in stone....regarding the control of the money would do the trick.
And stop paying the bastards...no salary..no pension..just the warm fuzzy feeling you get when your peers and neighbours consider you a fit person to solve the local parish dogshit problem ( with a mileage allowance of course).
 
#16
Better a lawyer's paradise than a politician's. Any constitution wouldn't necessarily have to be a large volume of words either. As things stand, there's almost no way to control a Government outside of a Genera Election. Your model is an anachronism if our politicians won't recognise moral limits to their mandate and personal obligations to the dignity of the office.
It wouldn't need to be a large volume of words but given the people who would draft it are all going to be lawyers it would certainly end up as one.

Politicians I've always felt should be answerable to the people, not some committee. That the people don't currently care is not a reason for change.
 
#17
Better a lawyer's paradise than a politician's. Any constitution wouldn't necessarily have to be a large volume of words either. As things stand, there's almost no way to control a Government outside of a Genera Election. Your model is an anachronism if our politicians won't recognise moral limits to their mandate and personal obligations to the dignity of the office.
The idea is nice, but it wouldn't take very long before the only way to get into the HoC would be after qualifying as a lawyer. In much the same way as there are enough independents to give the illusion that anyone can become an MP, in the same way that any American can become POTUS.

Watch how party lines melt into one united front when outside life intrudes on the HoC, such as for instance assorted expenses fiddles, conflicts of interest when framing laws.

If the legal trade could get into parliament through a legal constitution we would never be rid of them.

MPs only started getting paid in 1911, the quality of talent and probity has been downwards ever since.
 
#18
The hereditry peers sounded like a good idea in practice some were good some were crap.
But it ws an idea that had gone far past its sell by date.
 
#19
Peers were crap so people like John Prescott got elected, guess where he ended up.

Just because it's an old concept doesn't mean it's wrong.
 

seaweed

LE
Book Reviewer
#20
Until Ted Heath mortgaged our independence to a Napoleonic system of government by unelected bureaucrats (Waterloo anyone?) the reason we didn't need a written constitution was that it consisted of only three words - 'Parliament is Sovereign'.

Meanwhile you grumpers can go on seething with anger and imagining betetr solutions, but you depend on your MP to do anything about it and he depends on his party leader for his financial future.
 

Similar threads

Latest Threads

Top