Reforming Parliament

Have to say that I agree with Dan here.

Parliament is supposed to be independent, free of outside influences. Better a gang of crooks and thieves which has the power to tell the buggers where to go than one cowed into total impotence.

6 thoughts on “Reforming Parliament”

  1. Or a written Constitution with an elected President that puts Parliament under the rule of law rather than be above it?

    Naaah!

    Won’t ever happen.

    By the way, the next scandal to hit is the one that hits every UK government as it starts to degrade – awarding honours to people who donate to the ruling party. It happens with every government and every party. You could argue that the problem is the honours system is a cancerous tumour in the body of British politics and should be abolished, and you’d be right…but it will continue because the honours system is a key carrot and stick for the Civil Service, the real people who run your country.

    There is a reason why America doesn’t suffer from honours scandals – because it doesn’t have an honours system that is so transparently a vehicle for political and royal patronage, and American honours are very restricted in comparison. It’s obvious to me that the Founding Fathers saw the corrupting influence of the British honours system and made sure it didn’t happen in the American experiment.

    The scandal came about because the Daily Telegraph “happened” to receive a disk containing all of the expenses records. Where did that come from? Come out from behind that curtain, Sir Humphrey: mission accomplished.

  2. >By the way, the next scandal to hit is the one that hits every UK government as it starts to degrade – awarding honours to people who donate to the ruling party.

    You’ve been in Australia too long, cobber. We had that scandal here in the UK a couple of years ago (ever heard of Lord Levy?).

    >There is a reason why America doesn’t suffer from honours scandals – because it doesn’t have an honours system that is so transparently a vehicle for political and royal patronage

    Well, yes, it doesn’t have a British-style Honours scandal because it doesn’t have British-style honours. But if you really think that the US doesn’t have people who give money to political parties and campaigns and politicans to gain advantage for their interests then you’re sadly deluded.

  3. But if you really think that the US doesn’t have people who give money to political parties and campaigns and politicans to gain advantage for their interests then you’re sadly deluded.

    I never made such a claim. The claim I did make was that the Honours system is a systemic cancer that affects every part of the British state – a fact diagnosed by the American Founding Fathers when they abolished the whole Honours system for the new nation. It wasn’t accidental that they had so few honours for very specific reasons and occasions – it was entirely deliberate.

  4. Oh and by the way mate, Lord Levy was found innocent.

    The honours scandal to come is because of a failing ruling party that cannot raise enough money to fight the next general election.

    It happens regularly. It will happen again.

  5. >Oh and by the way mate, Lord Levy was found innocent.

    Do you really believe he was innocent?

    Besides, you just said “scandal”, and a scandal is what we had. You don’t have to have someone being found guilty in a court for it to be a scandal — by that standard not even the expenses affair counts.

    As for the US Honours system, you implied that not having a UK-style Honours system was an effective method of reducing corruption. (If you didn’t imply that, then what you said merely amounted to saying that the US doesn’t have any UK-style Honours scandals simply because it doesn’t have UK-style Honours, which is a triviality).

    But this is debatable. The US has always had, and perhaps still currently has, more corruption in politics than the UK (remember Rod Blagojevich). So the lack of a UK-style Honours system doesn’t seem to have been that effective.

    (You might argue that the US would have been even worse with such a system, and maybe that’s true, but it requires some arguing.)

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