The Making of Laws

Once things were simpler; we had (in common law jurisdictions) laws created by custom (no more than what most people usually did), which turned into precedent, mostly solemnly followed by judges and laws made by the dictate of monarchs. Then, with the coming of Parliamentary democracy Parliaments made laws which they called statutes. Things became more complex.

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Democracy Day

Today is democracy day, apparently. We are supposed to celebrate democracy, which is not an easy thing to do, but humans enjoy celebrating things that they do not understand as the great religious festivals show. Continue reading

Constitutional Reform

It is possible that the referendum in Scotland, whatever its result may be, will lead to constitutional reform over the remaining parts of the United Kingdom. Certainly  there is plenty of scope for reform. The major institutions or practices that need reform or abolition are

  • the House of Lords; if the UK needs a second chamber then it should be elected, for better or worse, and not appointed.
  • the ability of elected politicians to appoint their cronies into offices of power without a proper application process.
  • the House of Commons needs to be elected by constituencies that have approximately the same amounts of voting populations. There should be fewer Members of Parliament who should be paid a decent wage and whose services should be provided by the government direct; we need to abolish the system of grants and allowances.
  • Members of Parliament of the UK should not be allowed to vote on measures that are devolved to their local national parliaments.
  • I would prefer the abolition of all titles, including that of the monarch and those of her family. However, i suspect most of the country would disagree with me on this point.
  • I cannot see the point of expensive to maintain holiday home accommodation for ministers. I know their jobs are important but they do not need to undertake them on estates of luxury surrounded by expensive art that belongs to the nation.

My prejudice is in favour of democracy. it is the least imperfect system of government and its main disadvantage is the insidious corruption that accompanies it, made easy by their being in the United Kingdom, a system to enable corruption to thrive in a perfectly legal way.

Good Laws and Bad Laws

In medieval times the people judged their King as being good or being bad according to the laws that the King brought into being. The people knew that there were good laws and bad laws and instinctively understood which laws were good and which laws were bad. Kings and prophets were givers of law. The people understood that they needed law and that they must live by the rule of law.

Things are more complicated today.

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The Wrong Thing for the Right Reason

Parliament in the United Kingdom has voted against the United Kingdom participating in punishment of the Syrian Government for the time being, I expect it was a case of many members doing the right thing for the wrong reasons but it has prevented the United Kingdom doing the wrong thing for the right reason. Now brave sailors in submarines five hundred miles from Syria will not bravely push buttons to launch Cruise missiles which may or may not hit the right targets or the wrong targets and explode. It seems that the United Kingdom will leave the honour of these actions to The United States of America and the Republic of France.

A Walk through London in December

I set off from my office in Queen Anne Street yesterday evening and walked down to Oxford Street, cut through Hanover Square and walked down Regent Street. The streets were full of people but the shops, well lit and bright, were almost empty. The people I passed seemed happy; they had the look of being happy this Christmas time. There were people of all kinds, shapes, colours and languages. This is my city today, full of people from many places and today they seemed to all be happy to be here. Continue reading

Mr Diamond’s Performance

When Bob Diamond appeared in Parliament on Thursady to explain how Barclays had managed to manipulate LIBOR rates for fice or so years without the person in charge of the part of the bank that was doing the manipulation (Mr Diamond himself) or subsequently the chap in charge of the bank (also one R Diamond) noticing he stonewalled in a style worthy of General Jackson at the first battle of Bull Run. He stood his ground without conceding an inch and without explaining a jot or tittle or iota. Presumably his arrogance is such that he felt that Parliament (elected by the people) is not worthy of an explanation. Continue reading