Oscars Night

I am no fan of awards ceremonies but there was an amusing thing that came up in an interview with some of the show production team and with an eye on tonight’s presentations likely to attract a degree of anti Trump speeches. Apparently if an award winner goes too far off the reservation, the Director will strike up the band and drown them out, “Your time is up !” set to music as it were.

Now whilst I’m not suggesting that we should have orchestras in the House of Lords, something Michael Heseltine is reported to have said concerning a ‘rebellion against the Government’ over the Article 50 Bill, did make me smile and bought the image to mind. Continue Reading →

Major Constitutional Reform

In most respects, the question of whether the UK should remain in the EU is a rather minor one compared with dealing with the European Court of Human Rights which like Brussels, as an institution seeks always to maintain and expand its reach at every opportunity. In reality the ECHR will be totally ignored by any tin pot dictator that comes to power, like policing, Courts of any kind rely on the support of their ‘public’ to function.

However in dealing with the disaster that was the Human Rights Act introduced under the Blair Government, can lead to opening a whole can of worms that can make significant rapid progress very difficult. I would suggest that the reasons are worth looking into. Continue Reading →

Constructive Reform of the Lords

I have written many times before about how inadvisable it would be to try and turn the House of Lords into a fully elected chamber, to open that particular can of worms would lead to a huge constitutional crisis which is why it has never happened to date. The problem is that all power resides in the Commons and they will cede none to a second chamber therefore what is the point of electing people to such a body if they have no real power ?

That is the basic argument in a nutshell but it doesn’t mean that the Lords cannot be changed to better bring it in line with modern public life. Continue Reading →

Reforming the Lords – Oh Not Again

There was an article in the Economist written under the Bagehot pen name on the House of Lords:

Now in truth, it also touched upon the impact that David Cameron not having a Tory majority there might have on the progress of key legislation given an embittered bunch of LibDem Peers in that House. But the thrust was quite simple: “lords-aged-overcrowded-and-increasingly-effective-democratic-embarrassment” Continue Reading →

Electoral Reform and PR

Although I touched on my views concerning the election results and the numbers of votes cast for each Westminster seat gained, there was an article in the Telegraph by Peter Tatchell that touched directly on this topic. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/general-election-2015/politics-blog/11606354/Whatever-you-think-of-Ukip-or-the-Greens-our-electoral-system-is-robbing-them.html

Although I rarely these days engage in the “comments columns wars”, I did do a post on this as did many others and that was good because it led me to clarifying my views so below with the odd amendment or additional comment, how it went. Continue Reading →

Stupid But…

I haven’t rushed to write up the most recent and alleged, “Cash for questions” nonsense involving Malcolm Rifkind and Jack Straw because it hardly seems to be worth the effort. The main problem is that a rather infantile electorate is unwilling to pay MPs the amount of money they obviously need to do their job and this close to a General Election, the politicians are too cowardly to make the case least it costs them votes.

I do not believe in conspiracy theories but it is noticeable that once again just prior to an election as they did prior to the 2010 one, the Telegraph is yet again involved in “breaking the story…” There are several points worth making around all this but they are not those commonly heard in our Media. Continue Reading →

English Only Votes, an Irrelevance

I was chatting to a friend of mine today that I meet regularly on my morning bike ride and as us old chaps do, we were ‘putting the world to rights’ and during the conversation he made a very good point that “Too many people set out to solve the wrong problem, they need to stop and think more.” He was right and the question of “English votes on English matters” is a prime case in point.

I like David Cameron and frankly come next May, realistically he is the “only game in town” when it comes to who the next Prime Minister should be but, setting the petty politics to one side on this he has got it wrong, it really isn’t a problem worth solving. More than that and uncomfortable though it may be for some Celtic politicians to acknowledge in a positive way, it goes to the heart of what the Union is really all about which is not about local assembly or parliaments. Continue Reading →

We Need to Upgrade

I know they are often cute and quite amusing but the harsh truth is that we need to upgrade our Members of Parliament, we need better engineered models to face the challenges of the 21st Century, models that won’t be distracted by ‘Candy Crush’ playing and such like stuff.

This is not a trivial task and from outset we need to understand that as with any educational process, it will take time to gradually replace them all. Upgrading/replacing the current hardware is the easy bit but the most important part is upgrading the software too so that both MPs and their constituents start off on the same page with the same expectations of behaviour. Continue Reading →

Here We Go Again…

Whenever a politician or political party is in trouble and feels that it is lacking “traction” with the electorate and is totally devoid of ideas, it reaches out for some “Grand Policy” to prove that it is both radical and revolutionary, inevitably Lords Reform is seen as a “no cost win” so…The Dead Ed Miliband is in such a hole so once again we have “We shall reform the Lords and call it a Senate”.

Daft bugger, it is the House of Commons that needs reform and no political party will attempt that. The most significant changes to the Commons recently has been Blair changing the hours it sits to make it more “family friendly” and the installation of a very small person as the Speaker. The Munchkin population were apparently delighted with the latter measure as it rescued them from being associated with garden gnomes and gave them a role model. Continue Reading →