On Governments

In the United Kingdom we are governed by governments chose by those we elect to Parliament. Today the old Parliament has run its course and the people will soon be electing a new Parliament. The old Parliament deserved to be extinguished; the people deserve better than what it offered. Members of the Government’s Opposition clung to their seats not to introduce or scrutinize legislation but to embarrass and humiliate the government as much as possible which largely left the government reasonably helpless and the people without a government that could govern.

It was said nearly two hundred years ago “that government is best which governs least” which a few years later Henri Thoreau turned into “that government is best which governs not at all”. But the world has changed in two hundred years. Life is extremely complex now and the people of each nation need competent governments and deserve governments, ideally good governments governing according to the wishes of the majority of the electorate that chose their representatives in Parliament.

The experience of the past few years shows that our representative democracy when mixed with plebiscite democracy leads to chaos. Many of the members of the old Parliament representatives did not feel bound by the referendum and thought it perfectly democratic to subvert the results of the referendum because they believed that representative democracy is more democratic than referendum democracy. If they did not believe that, they must have believed that they knew better that their electorate.

For all that, those purporting to believe in representative democracy are (ironically) anxious to limit their own democratic powers (and the wishes of the electorate) by subverting their own powers to the powers of foreign institutions. One Parliament, in constitutional theory, cannot bind a successor Parliament. The way around this rather inconvenient rule of the constitution is if one elected government can enter into a foreign treaty then the provisions of the treaty can bind every future Parliament for long periods of time, because treaties are so much harder to overturn than legislation.

For this reason, certain politicians seek to tie the hands of future governments in fields like employment (called workers’ rights) environmental policy and economic policy and immigration policy. Thus some politicians have sought to prevent future Parliaments elected by the people for putting into effect what the electorate may democratically vote for in future.

Effectively the electorate are told that they are not competent to elect a government with the powers that governments have enjoyed in the United Kingdom for hundreds of years. In fact governments that we may elect are also not competent; the only competent authority to govern us lies outside these islands.

I find this behaviour by certain members of the old Parliament as both immoral and disgusting.

One Response

  1. ” Thus some politicians have sought to prevent future Parliaments elected by the people for putting into effect what the electorate may democratically vote for in future.”

    As it happens I never saw the Climate Change Act 2008 in any party’s manifesto. But I suppose the Government decided it should do something to prevent so called ‘Global warming’ . Based on authoritative research (apparently) the Act reqired the UK, by 2050, to reduce emissions of certain gases by 80% of the 1990 level of said emissions. If one believes the CCC the UK achieved around 50% reduction this year. I woulld say that’s pretty successful albeit only ‘low hanging fruit’ was harvested. Yet the Government has declared a climate emergency, whatever that is, the Act is silent.

    Despite the fact that the 80% figure was apparently based on science Mrs May in July this year upped the amount to 100% without any further scientific study or research. Why did she do this? There are plenty of theories. But my point is that May/Government took a political decision. Mrs May just wanted to virtue signal.

    So Mrs May’s personal intervention, based on no science at all, binds the future energy policy of the UK way beyond her tenure. That extra 20% will be even harder to achieve than the remaining 30% before her change of the percentage reduction. (I note here that the 50% reduction in emissions of GHG’s already achieved has not even slightly reduced the international rate of increase of atmospheric CO2.)

    What worries me is that the 100% reduction means that the UK emissions must be equal to those of about 1850 when the population was half what is expected in 2050. Such a reduction implies a complete transformation of the UK and there are no viable plans for such a transformation. Our society was created by cheap and plentiful energy. To manufacture, farm, transport ourselves and stay warm. Without a viable plan and the will of the population to implement the plan I forsee a dark future in which only the very rich will be able to live a comfortable life.

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