Archive for the ‘reform’ Category

Dan Hannan: totus porcus

27 May 2009

At a time when the intellectual pygmies of this world, such as Jack Straw, pretend to have the answer to our broken politics – which Labour brokeDan Hannan and Douglas Carswell produce the solution that we all instinctively know to be right.

Contrast Straw’s twisted logic and purported objectives for a British constitution with Dan’s and Douglas’s intellectually sharp and elegant logic, which characterises The Plan.

Straw’s offerings are just what we have come to expect from this shabby Labour government – craven, dishonest and useless at best. At worst, Straw’s proposed British Constitution would further destroy the freedoms of the individual and further empower the state. Under common law, the individual has a number of inalienable rights. Jack Straw seeks to override these rights such that any freedom not explicitly granted to the individual is implicitly disallowed. This amounts to a gross perversion of the freedoms that we have enjoyed over the centuries.

Straw’s proposed constitution results in a curtailment of freedoms and an increase in state power while doing nothing to increase the accountability of the ruling ‘elite’.

Today in the Telegraph, Dan Hannan describes Cameron’s adoption of the ideas in book The Plan, co-authored by Dan and Douglas.

Dan argues that he will be returned to Brussels on June 5th precisely because he is a beneficiary of the party list system by which party whips have purloined power from the electorate.

Dan writes (my emphasis):

The solutions which David Cameron goes on to propose are drawn directly from that text, and from its sequel, The Plan: Twelve Months to Renew Britain, which I co-authored with Douglas Carswell six months ago: local control over schools, housing and policing; fewer MPs; more power for councils; referendums, local and national; legislation by citizens’ initiative; a shift in power from the executive and judicial branches of government to the legislature; weaker Whips; the end of the patronage powers enjoyed by the Prime Minister under Crown Prerogative; the appointment of public officials through open parliamentary hearings.

Six months ago, these ideas were widely dismissed as both abstruse (“no one is interested in constitutional reform”) and impractical (“yes yes, Hannan, but back in the real world…”). The expenses revelations have made them seem not just pertinent, but urgent. David Cameron has spotted this and, with the decisiveness that has characterised his response to the allowances crisis, has adopted the agenda whole hog – totus porcus.

He reminds us that the corruption of politics will not be achievable while some MPs have what is essentially a job for life (my emphasis):

As long as 70 per cent of seats are safe, the only way for an MP to lose his job is to fall out with his party. That is the argument for open primaries, which will abolish the concept of a safe seat.

Read Dan’s article.