Here comes the judge

July 25, 2009

scales-of-justice2We will maintain a just and impartial judiciary. Judges must be non-political and independent but also accountable. If people are to trust the legal system and respect the judiciary it is important that judges at every level behave with honesty and integrity. They must be free from scandal in their private lives and not bring the legal system in to disrepute. They must also be exemplary, without ideological bias, even handed and fairly apply the rules in their public lives.

Unfortunately, some judges cannot meet these high standards and some have a poor professional record in terms of their judgements. Read the rest of this entry »


Lording it over the people

July 18, 2009

house of lordsWhat do you do with a problem called the House of Lords? Targeted by New Labour because it is unelected and undemocratic, and if the truth be known because it is too independent and an obstacle to their agenda, they have attempted to reform it but have in fact deformed it. The hereditary Peers, the major irritant of the Left, have been slashed to a rump while the appointed life Peers have been stuffed with Labour cronies. Many of these new Peers are the result of patronage and many are unelected Labour politicians, such as Adonis, Kinnock and Mandelson, rewarded with Government positions. The democratic deficit persists and the next steps are to remove the Law Lords as part of the creation of the Supreme Court and the Lords Spiritual as part of the plan for an elected upper House. Labour find it galling that on occasions the unelected Lords have been more in tune with public opinion and able to amend, defeat or stall Government Bills. Labour’s reforms are in fact a threat to our democracy. For twelve years Labour’s plans to reform the Lords have distracted attention away from the need to reform the House of Commons.

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Democracy: Make every vote matter

July 11, 2009

polling-stationWe are told that a major plank of our foreign policy, along with the USA, is to export democracy to the remainder of the peoples of the World that do not enjoy our freedoms.  Many non-westerners are sceptical because the UK and USA examples are not as democratic as they are made out to be.  In the recent US presidential elections a high turnout of just 64% was hailed as a triumph for democracy.  In the UK the last two general elections produced low turnouts of 59/60% and were bemoaned as failures.

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Long live the Queen: Democracy and representative government

July 5, 2009

Westminster-abbeyThe UK has a constitutional monarchy and a representative democracy that have evolved over hundreds of years naturally and by way of statute, conventions and prerogatives.  There is no single constitutional document that we can refer to for a comprehensive understanding of our democratic rights.  It is an area of law that requires specialist constitutional lawyers to interpret and on occasions the judiciary have to define and rule on disputes.  Because of the haphazard way that our democracy has grown there are many inconsistencies.

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