Posts Tagged ‘History’

‘Back in 2019, Britain was much larger’: what the history books will say | Jack Bernhardt

Using the latest technology, I’ve got my hands on a textbook from the year 2070. And it isn’t very complimentary

It’s always odd when politicians make an appeal to “the history books” – it’s like an actor making an appeal to reviewers midway through the film. But it took on a new surreal meaning on Monday, when Theresa May asked us to consider what the history books would say about the vote on her deal.

It takes truly great commitment to your own mediocrity to sort through a catalogue of your own mistakes, find the largest and most avoidable, and then tell the gods of history that yep, this national humiliation is the way you want future generations to remember you. It’s like calling up the Oxford English Dictionary and requesting that “to cock something up irrevocably, to the point that people feel a pang of despair when they hear your name” be for ever known as “doing a Theresa”.

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What is the point of Parliament? Do we need it?

What is the point of Parliament? Do we need it?

Parliament was formed, Lords only, in 1215 and then included the commons in 1265. It was dissolved by King Charles  a few times (see here) but he was forced to return the power to the people by Oliver Cromwell.

Since then we, the people, have accepted and subjugated ourselves to the rule of law derived from this Palace of Westminster. We have, until very recent times, accepted that Parliament is sacrosanct and the bastion of propriety and honesty.

There have over the years been very many individual MPs that have brought the palace into disrepute. They have not often, it seems, been held to much account with the odd exception. As a population we have largely shrugged our shoulders and ignored any miscreants.

But no more. It is now, largely thanks to Brexit which has polarised views in this country, that Parliament finds itself under much more scrutiny. We have seen members of both the Lords and Commons being measured and found wanting in every way. Corruption is rife, poor and often criminal behavior is whitewashed. There is no transparency and the place, as I have often written is in my opinion a cesspit.

Individual behavior can be excused as there will always be bad apples in every barrel. But when there is a collective will amongst the 650 members of the Commons to behave and legislate contrary to the will of the people they were voted in by, you just have to ask if the current system of governance in this country is fit for purpose.

They voted for a referendum in 2016 on the continuing membership of the UK within the EU. They then voted, having been commanded by the majority to leave that EU, to enact article 50 which is the legal process for our leaving. This gave two years in which we negotiate our withdrawal.

Two years and seven months on, and with only some 80 odd days to go until we leave, the 650 are still arguing, commentating, lying and obfuscating over the issue. Certain MPs have threatened to put into law statutes that would restrict tax raising powers by the sitting government which would potentially cripple the Government, the economy and therefore the immediate future of the country in order to get their way. The Speaker himself has decided to nail his colours firmly to the mast of Remain. This has most certainly brought the House of Commons into a constitutional crisis, one from which it may never recover.

Groups formed within political parties threaten and behave like school children against their elected leaderships. We the public have no other say until 2022, the next General Election. We can of course repeat history and remove parliament, but that pathway is both very dangerous and potentially very bloody. I also believe at this point that there is no appetite for this, but I add a caveat in that the people are both properly fed up and very angry.

If we are to be engineered into staying in the EU. If we are, as Guy Verhofstadt and Angela Merkel have demanded, to surrender our sovereignty and powers to the EU institution, to convert by 2020 to the Euro and surrender our Armed Services into the EU Army, one has to ask the question:

What is the point of a parliament and do we need one?

Our laws will be made by the parliament in the EU. Our taxation and expenditure will be determined by that body too. We will lose the power to veto. We will no longer need Her Majesty the Queen to assent any laws as they will be put into place and ratified by the EU. The ECJ will be supreme in its lawmaking. Our judiciary will be managed and administered by the EU.

All the traditions and pomp and circumstance will no longer be needed. The state opening will go and, thankfully, the need to have an upper unelected chamber. The palace itself, which is having millions spent on its restoration will become a museum perhaps. A place to visit and wonder at what was and could have been.

How will we be governed? Well my suggestion is that local authorities would magistrate local issues and laws. Local authorities already administer monies and issues affecting everyday daily life of the people. They can be voted in or out as the will of the people dictates in a democratic system already in existence.

We could even devolve more to regional assemblies – they are already in place in Wales and Scotland, and if they ever get back to work Northern Ireland. So why not regionally throughout England? Take Yorkshire, more people live in Yorkshire than in Wales or Scotland. It is not a stretch therefore to allow them regional rule, answering to Brussels and financed by that place.  

Parliament has simply and plainly grown too big for its boots again. It has taken over 400 years but that is where we are. The politicians must look to their consciences and take a step back and look at what they are doing. They do not act in the interests of the people and the country when they so clearly and with so little regard act against the will of the people.

Of course, with the EU in charge we cannot, as they are unelected in the Executive, claim to be a democracy. You cannot claim to live in a democracy when you cannot sack your representatives.

If they do not stand down and if they keep this up, their days must be numbered, not individually at the ballot box but as an institution as a whole. Brussels awaits.

 

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