Fishy Tales

06 June 2007

A New Restoration?

Well I have to get in a comment to wish a bloody good riddance to Tony Blair. Sadly I think the damage has been done, and this country is no longer the place it was. A certain special individuality, bloody-mindedness and (by the same token) tolerance has been lost by us allowing ourselves to be infantilised. Aspects of the loss may well be permanent, enforced as part of the 'war against terror'. As a consequence I am less free than ever before in my life, and our children are likely to have to live with the UK electorate's collective failure to get off its arse.


However, there are glimmers of something positive in the inevitable backlash against Blair's style of government. The huge loss of trust in politicians, and even more obvious loss of interest in politics, can't be ignored forever, after all.

So Gordon Brown is talking about introducing a written constitution and is implying several other significant changes to the way Government works.

And the Tories' Democracy Taskforce is turning out some very well-considered ideas, some of which are almost identical to Brown's, making them very likely to materialise. Its current paper, An End to Sofa Government is well worth a read in my opinion.

The only problem with all this is that to realise the significance of what is being changed, I've had to do some serious Wikipedia research into stuff like Parliament, the Royal Prerogative, the Prime Minister, the Cabinet etc etc, with an occasional detailed foray into stuff like the Fundamental Laws of England. How many people are likely to do the same, and therefore have a real opinion on what has been changed, and therefore an interest in what happens? And to how many people will it just be water off a duck's back?

I suppose we'll see.

For the record, I actually don't want a written constitution (as promised by Brown). This country operates, and has operated for hundreds of years, under an understanding of what our rights are, without them needing to be spelled out. That's about confidence, trust and common sense. Not only would a written constitution undermine all those good things further, it would undoubtedly leave plenty of loopholes and enable many legalised forms of abuse if instituted, as now, at a time when terrorist threats are all the rage.

Extreme accountability and Extreme devolvement of power are, however, things to which I most strongly subscribe. Whoever introduces both of those may well get my vote.

Well, unless it's Brown!

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