Shake it all about: Brexit thread II

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  • BoogieBoogie Shipmate
    Birmingham?
  • Birmingham is one of the places we tried holding the national meeting. I was in the South West - 5 hours travel cross country or 2.5 hours into London and 1.5 hours out again, with a cross London journey to boot.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    edited April 13
    You're going to have to change the infrastructure to make somewhere else accessible and useful as a central place. I was part of a national organisation that tried not to use London as the base for meetings but concluded, after some attempts, that all the country reps could access London quicker and easier than anywhere else. Most of us could access London in a day, so no overnight stay costs. Moving meetings, to, say, Birmingham, makes travelling up from Cornwall and down from Scotland almost certainly have to go via London as cross-country travel is so onerous. Unless you want to encourage use of cars as essential?

    Bit confused by this specific example as the Virgin Penzance to Edinburgh service goes through Birmingham and goes nowhere near London.

    That aside, these are infrastructure changes we need to make; London is right in the bottom right hand corner of the country; other places should be more accessible.
  • But I wasn't in Penzance, I was in another area of the south west which meant I had to change at Reading if I took the 5 hour cross country route from Poole, with an hour plus drive to access that line. All the Kent guys had to come through London.
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    A new building outside of London. Cheaper land, average reduction in commuting distances and housing costs for MPs (and, hence expenses), somewhere that's more "real world" than next to the rather different environment of the City, somewhere in need of extensive regeneration where the construction and subsequent support jobs would be of considerable benefit.

    [/quote]

    I can recall a semi-serious article in The Economist in the early 70s, which proposed York as a suitable location. Of course the article proceeded on the basis that Scots and Welsh nationalisms were petty nuisances (pretty accurate then).

    On a more serious note, if you're going to reform the Commons, why not make Parliament as a whole more democratic and abolish the Lords? Perhaps do as we do federally and in my state, with a lower house of single member electorates elected on the preferential system, and an upper house of much larger multi-member constituencies elected on the proportional basis? You'd need to avoid the problem of our Senate where a vote in Tasmania is worth ten time more than a vote here, keeping your new upper house constituencies equal in population
  • FredegundFredegund Shipmate
    Oh, keep the Lords. They make more sense than the other place, and are an admirable check on the stupidity of the latter.
  • As we're taking a break from Brexit until the Commons returns from their Easter holidays, maybe we can have a wee tangent and share our wish lists for constitutional reform. Though maybe a new thread could be better.

    For me, I'd start by increasing the powers of local authorities, moving powers away from Westminster and Whitehall. I'd also like to see devolved regional assemblies or parliaments moving even more powers from central government.

    All elections for local, regional and national representative should return representatives by a more proportional method than FPTP while retaining the ward/constituency structure - probably something similar to the additional member method used in Scotland, or multi-member constituencies with a form of ranked voting (similar to that used for local elections in Scotland). I consider there's a lot of value in representatives for constituencies as this retains a clear "local MP" for people to contact. I dislike elections based on lists as this does put a lot of power in the hands of parties to select the list members and order, and also tends to restrict the elected members to simply echo party instructions, and seriously limits the opportunities for independents - which is a failing in the AM system as well as straight PR.

    In regards to the Lords, recent years have shown the benefits of a second chamber that is distinct in political make-up than the Commons. I would say that there should still be a majority of members there who are there because they personally add expertise to the chamber (ie: not elected), this would include senior judges as we have in the Law Lords, some retired politicians (eg: former PMs) for their experience of government, some religious leaders (but not just CofE bishops), representatives of organisations like the Royal Societies, General Medical Council, other professional bodies, trade unions. Something that provides the expertise, experience and nous to balance the Commons, but not a body that's constantly looking to the next election in the way that an elected chamber would be.
  • As we're taking a break from Brexit until the Commons returns from their Easter holidays, maybe we can have a wee tangent and share our wish lists for constitutional reform. Though maybe a new thread could be better.

    OK. I have started a thread:
    Over on the Brexit thread we recently went down a Constitution tangent....

    AFZ

  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    I'd have very real problems with judges of any rank participating in the legislature. Once they do that, they lose impartiality. I appreciate that before the UK Supreme Court was established, the Law Lords were members of the HoL (I assume that as life peers they remained members after the tiny reform a couple of decades ago) but my understanding was that they did not participate in the normal legislative process.
  • Gee D wrote: »
    I'd have very real problems with judges of any rank participating in the legislature. Once they do that, they lose impartiality. I appreciate that before the UK Supreme Court was established, the Law Lords were members of the HoL (I assume that as life peers they remained members after the tiny reform a couple of decades ago) but my understanding was that they did not participate in the normal legislative process.

    This is correct. Apart from location, there was genuine separation between the legislator and the highest court in the land. Making the Supreme Court completely separate was the correct move but just formalised and confirmed what was already the case.

    AFZ
  • finelinefineline Kerygmania Host
    While there is a lull, I am closing this thread, as it has got very long, and starting a new one here.
This discussion has been closed.