Thursday, 19 September 2019

Perhaps A Little Too Much?

David Cameron has given vent to the 300-year-old upper-class disdain for the present Royal Family as an unfortunate political necessity of nouveux riches immigrants. Call it Spencerism. But he knew the rules. At the very least, he does now need to be removed from the Privy Council, which would be the kind of thing that would bother someone like him. Of course he must be. He has made public the details of a conversation with the Queen. Arguably, by so doing, he has already resigned from the Privy Council.

Ah, yes, the Privy Council. Unfolding events have exposed the fact that, far from being a kind of parliamentary republic with a bit of Royal decoration for the tourists, Britain is in fact an absolute monarchy the exercise of which has come to be vested in the Prime Minister, with Parliament as the pantomime aspect, such that it can only sit at all when and where the Prime Minister, pretending to be the Queen, says that it should meet.

This Prime Minister has already lost what he had specified was a confidence motion, such that he withdrew the whip from 21 MPs for voting against him on it. Yet he remains in office. By refusing to make a submission to the Supreme Court, on the blasé understanding all round that it he would be found in contempt when it was inevitably exposed as a pack of lies, then how is he not already in contempt of that court? And so on.

None of this has delivered stability, as is often claimed. There has been blood on our streets on numerous occasions, including in some quantities as recently as 1984 to 1985, when mounted Police (if some of them really were the Police) cracked the skulls of people who were seeking to defend exactly the energy independence the loss of which is now bemoaned by those who still toast the memory of that savagery.

But while the present arrangements do need to change, God spare us from a written Constitution. The time when we might most plausibly have acquired one was at the height of Victorian Liberalism. Imagine that one of Gladstone's Ministries had in fact created such a thing, embodying all of its own principles and prejudices. Then imagine that, 50 to 80 years later, the Attlee Government had had to contend with it.

Today, the Gina Millers of the world would no doubt like to constrain a future Government by such means. Most Labour and at least half of Conservative MPs would be supportive of that, as would the  Greens and whatever remained of Change UK, and as would the Liberal Democrats, who are on course to win 50 seats from the Conservatives.

Another hung Parliament is coming, therefore, and we need our people to hold the balance of power in it. A new party is now in the process of registration. After nearly 30 years of suggestion, speculation, and even a sort of preparation, I will stand for Parliament here at North West Durham. The crowdfunding page is here, and buy the book here. Please email Very many thanks.

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