Posted by: John | June 23, 2009

Don’t get rid of the pomp, get rid of the circumstance

Just been watching The Daily Politics where Lord Puttnam (that old Labour dinosaur) was going on about the need to reform the traditions of Parliament. My own view is keep those that are purely ceremonial and historic and ditch those that impede democracy.

I have no problems with Lord McNally doffing his funny hat nor the role of the Sergeant-at-arms. It’s the price you pay for the stability of history – something that the US could never do. It’s ritual and doesn’t harm anybody. I found it reassuring that the Queen doesn’t have to be there – she’s basically the Lord Mayoress of the UK who can step in at times of crises. I just regarded the whole thing as a history play and quite enjoyed it!

Let’s instead do something about the procedures that matter to MPS and thus TO THE ELECTORATE ie in the day to day activities that can advance debate and give a real voice to all MPs.

After all, if we get rid of all ritual you might as well go the whole hog – the present chamber can’t accommodate all MPs; either reform our whole democracy root and branch and cut down the number of MPs or create a new chamber outside of the Capital to seperate the financial and political centres. That way you can create a chamber that is ecologically sustainable, that can seat all MPs and is circular in shape.

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