Friday, 27 January 2017

Blooming Beyond The Tulip

Her grandfather was the first Prime Minister of Bangladesh, and her aunt is the current one.

Entitled much, Tulip, flower?

As we mourn Tam Dalyell, consider that no one ever died of a broken three-line whip.

But how could the Official Opposition, as such, possibly have had no view on Article 50?

How could it possibly have had any view other than the implementation of the referendum result?

We are told that Jeremy Corbyn broke three-line whips hundreds of times.

Indeed, he did. As may any MP who is prepared, as he always was, to take the consequences.

And we are told that there was no whip on the bombing of Syria, or on the "renewal" of Trident.

Indeed, there was not. But there ought to have been. And there ought to be on this, too.

The vote on Trident, which is now controlled by Donald Trump, was downright fraudulent on the part of the Government, and it ought to be re-run.

As Michael Portillo has just said on This Week, we do not know whether the missile would hit Moscow or Miami.

It is possible that no MP from Scotland will vote for Article 50. 

With Ian Murray briefing that he intends to rebel, certainly no more than one MP from Scotland will vote for it, unless David Mundell were persuaded that his absence on some or other pretext would play better at home, and then it would be none.

Yet 1,018,332 people in Scotland voted Leave. Write it out in words: more than a million.

The recent reduction in the number of constituency MPs from 650 to 600 created an opportunity that ought to have been taken.

An amendment ought to have specified that each of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and each of the nine English regions, would elect five additional MPs, with each elector voting for one candidate, and with the top five elected at the end.

It would also have required the main parties, and permitted the others, to submit their shortlists of two for those nominations to an independent, binding, publicly funded ballot of all registered electors in the relevant area.

It would have been far from impossible to extend this to local government, with the additional Councillors elected by this means from each of the parts of a given municipal area falling within a particular parliamentary constituency.

All of this could still be put in place in time for the General Election of 2020.

These primary and proportional aspects are essential to the restoration of the powers of Parliament and of local government, and to the extension of those powers beyond their historical limits.

Although the most essential thing of all to that restoration and extension, and then to their entrenchment and protection, is far greater economic equality, so that no one's vote effectively counted far more than anyone else's.