Last week I developed my thoughts about the advantages of a hemisphere parliamentary chamber which received a comment saying:
"Our system is based on adversary just the same as our system of trials" to which I replied:
" Yes and we once used cucking
stools for witches!!"
My reply was obviously intended to be light-hearted while making the point that
as time moves on things do change and I am now strongly of the opinion,
something that I've come to fairly recently, that our adversarial system is out
of date and not fit for purpose especially the task of holding the executive to
As I explained last week the purpose of ALL MPs in parliament is to make and scrutinize laws and most importantly hold the executive to account.
A couple of weeks ago the rebellion by 100 odd Conservative MPs, to the government's Plan B, in place of any opposition from the Labour party, proved the point that MPs should vote on what they feel is right for the country and not what is necessarily best for their party.
The adversarial clashes in the House of Commons may provide some theatre and blood sport, especially since the introduction of TV cameras, but in terms of improving our governance I don't think it adds a single benefit. In fact, I believe it probably makes our governance considerably worse.
In our pamphlet we explain in some detail, under our third demand 'A Separation of Power', how the current make-up of the House of Commons contains around 200 MPs on the government benches, including the cabinet, ministers, whips, other office holders, Parliamentary Private Secretaries and ‘greasy pole climbers’ who are all compromised in relation to holding the government to account. If the cabinet/executive is taken out of the Commons then all the MPs in it will more readily hold it to account.
Incidentally in the hemisphere parliament in Iceland, the Althingi, the seating arrangements, after elections, for the eight odd parties that make up the 63 seat chamber are allocated by lottery which obviously minimises conflict and maximises cooperation.
Finally we should do the same in a completely new parliamentary building, housing only around 400 MPs, in a location at the centre of the population of Britain which is in around Derby, albeit that does not include the population of N.Ireland, so an adjustment to the North East of Derby is needed. This would leave the Palace of Westminster to become the site of one of the prime tourist attractions in the world based on the mother of all parliaments!