Clegg; fine rhetoric…less impressive delivery …

Nick Clegg wants to cancel the Queens Speech and instead use the last Parliamentary term before the next General Election; to give it’s successor a ‘fresh start’. Yet another headline grabbing soundbite but what lays beyond the showmanship?

The answer is alot of worthy reforms that we can all sign-up too; however, the final imponderables are left untouched and the article is lacking in radicalism in key areas. Indeed, the question posed by this title is a worthy one because while Clegg’s shopping list of reforms is a worthy one they all add-up to dramatically much less than is needed if the whole constitutional monarchy state-form; the one that produced this ‘rotten Parliament’ is to be changed. Clegg wants to do so much but does little to strike at the power of the executive. Sure, he supports the proposals to elect the heads of select committees by secret ballot but how does this ensure;

that governments can never again use whips to ride roughshod over the views of elected representatives.

The answer is, of course, it doesn’t. It bears repeating that the list of powers that the government executive wields under royal prerogative includes the dissolution of Parliament and the declaration of war. So, Nick if you are keeping the constitutional monarchy in tact, what is the point of a bill introducing fixed-term Parliaments? Also, David Cameron’s ‘Sovereignty Act’ is invalidated by the fact that in theory, the Prime Minister, acting under the auspices of the Crown (not the coercion of Europe, as the sceptics wrongly argue) can sign treaties on the nations behalf. So much for his ‘iron lock’; it is the sovereignty of the monarch that undermines the sovereignty of the people.

This is the great big ‘elephant in the room’ that Clegg’s article ignores. Britain’s democracy, Parliament, the House of Lords even the electoral system can be changed and none of it will undermine the executives ability to ‘ride roughshod’ over the will of the people because of the existence of the monarch and the constitutional monarchy system of government. Until Clegg is prepared to strike a blow against that his rhetoric remains fine but his delivery is less so…


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About darrellgoodliffe


4 responses to “Clegg; fine rhetoric…less impressive delivery …”

  1. Jeremy Rowe says :

    Great post. There is much reforming to be done! Labour blew its golden opportunity in 1997 but, with the expenses row, another such opportunity arose this year, and I have to admit my disappointment that Nick Clegg has not been fiercely banging the drum for the reforms that Lib Dems have always believed in. All of which leaves Cameron looking like a reformer when we know full well that a Tory government will change nothing.


  2. John says :

    Why does no one pull Cameron up on the fact he wants to cut the number of MPs and not the number of ministers?


  3. Jeremy Rowe says :

    No one seems to pull Cameron up on anything…


  4. darrellgoodliffe says :

    Jeremy Rowe,

    Thanks. 🙂 Indeed they did, a massive majority and the goodwill of the nation behind them and they did nothing. Again agreed, he has gutted our reforms of their radical spirit and replaced them with a shopping list. True, it leaves the space free for Cameron’s even less dramatic reforms.


    Agreed that Cameron should be held to account for his rather pithy reform suggestions. And Jeremy is right that the media, especially the Murdoch wing does seem to give him an easy time.


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