Monday, April 18, 2016

Lord Salisbury calls for "A New Act of Union"

The Marquis of Salisbury, who was Leader of the House of Lords under John Major when he was known as Lord Cranborne before succeeding to the Cecil family's main title, has written an article at CAPX which calls for a New Act of Union and expresses concern that

"Britain's Political class risks losing the authority to govern."

The new act of union which he proposes, and which would need to be approved by a referendum in all four parts of the UK would, quote

"re-establish governments’ authority to govern and legislatures’ authority to legislate. Such an Act would not be enough on its own. Its true validation would come from what followed. We would need to reform public administration and local government in England, our embarrassingly complicated tax regime and many other necessary things."

Lord Salisbury's article is part of a reply to Bruce Anderson: both of them have been writing about whether Britain should stay in the EU, which Bruce Anderson favours and Salisbury does not.

Although it came out of a debate about the European referendum, Salisbury's article is mostly not about Europe. It is about Britain, and how the development of social media has made traditional forms of government look flat-footed and unresponsive, contributing to a loss of faith in the institutions of government. He moves on from there to how confidence in the authority and legitimacy of government could be restored.

There is comparatively little detail in the article about the detail of exactly what is proposed or how it would work, or indeed about the arguments for leaving the EU. However I would recommend reading this to anyone with an interest in how British government might be renewed, not because it has much in the way of answers but because Lord Salisbury's analysis how and why of the growing disconnect between British institutions of government and the electorate came about has a good deal of force.

3 comments:

Jim said...

Please sir, Here, Here, Here,

I have a way they could regain the authority to govern sir, you see Sir, during the school holidays once me and some friends went to this lovely Hotel in a place called Harrogate......

Jim said...

Most of it came because when we got there, and there were lots of nice people there and 3 of them all wanted us to buy different things, one said Ice cream, one said chips and one said funny hats, but we noticed none of them demanded we bought them, and Lucky us there was no teacher there to demand either. We understood something, we learned we can make our own decisions and we learned that we did not need teacher, we learned something right then

1. Recognition of our sovereignty:
The peoples of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland comprise the ultimate authority of their nations and are the source of all political power. That fact shall be recognised by the Crown and the Governments of our nations, and our Parliaments and Assemblies

Jim said...

Anyway the day in the hotel went on, and we came up with lots of ideas, but it was getting late, so we decided we would all go home, and come back tomorrow, but we could not do that as the lady in the hotel said the room was needed by other people and we had only booked it for that one day. So we all went home deciding we would build on what we had online each from our houses instead.

We did that, and we decided among ourselves that lots of campaigns die out pretty quick, we had seen lots come and go to no avail even though they seemed very good to lots of people at the time. We tried to work out why. We had seen allsorts come and go, and we knew only a few were still ocuppying wall street. We were prety certain at the time that the current "clegg mania", would die off too. So we looked for something that had once worked to model our ideas on, we found it.......in a boring history book.

These were people who drew maps or something, but they got their ideas in, they only had 6 of them though so we chose 6 as well, then we learned it took the map makers ages and ages and dead much and big lots of time to get them in, we thought thats not so bad, its better than never after your campaign just dies out like occupy did, so that is the way we went.

anyway we got a bit side tracked with other things as well and we have been pretty side tracked ever since, but we did add our Harrogate plan to the end of what we got side tracked on in the first place, and we can return to it later if our current plan A does not work so well. so all in all it was a good day out sir.

That was what i did on my holidays anyway.