Deliverance Day minus 20. When kings ruled this land as absolute monarchs they were in sole and total control. The king’s Council administered the functions of state and the king’s Courts dispensed justice when the king was not able to exercise these functions in person. The king made laws, and later only summoned Parliament for short periods when the need arose to impose taxation. Power was wrested from the king little by little until we gained the freedoms that we enjoy today. We are protected because the combined powers of the monarch were divided and the king became a constitutional monarch.
The reality is that the government [or executive] exercises these powers on behalf of the Crown and enjoy, and hide behind, the benefit of Crown immunity; as the king cannot be tried in his own courts. Government departments are exempt from the basic responsibilities that individuals or corporate bodies have to comply with. For example, the Crown departments do not have to apply for planning permission. Britains are subjects of the Crown, not citizens. There is a need for a root and branch reform of our unwritten constitution.
There are some historical roots that preceded feudalism and are just as valid today as they were one thousand years ago. Our freedom depends on the more recent democratic principle of the separation of powers. We have reached the stage that these separations are theoretical and huge party majorities in the House of Commons have resulted in Parliamentary dictatorships. Political parties are a relatively recent development and are merely an association of people. A political party by virtue of election is able to direct that dictatorship and for the last sixty years have done so even though they have only enjoyed the support of a minority of the voters.
Resulting from this a British Prime Minister has more power than the US president, and can get legislation passed with relative ease, unlike the trouble that President Obama had getting his healthcare bill through Congress. The US system makes the passing of legislation difficult while the UK system is easy. To rectify this we are proposing some foundational changes that will produce a democracy fit for the third millennium. This will be revolutionary.
Our Constitutional Reform Programme is based on a genuine and real separation of the powers of the Executive, the Legislature and the Judiciary. As part of the checks on the exercise of these powers, the Monarch [Head of State] will be required to act on behalf of the people through a modern direct relationship. We will make provision for the accession of the Head of State following an Acclamation Referendum and for mandatory abdication resulting from an Abdication Referendum. Propose amendments to the Coronation Oath to include reference to the natural law as well as God’s law. Make provision for citizens to petition the Head of State, and for the Head of State to delay the assent of legislation pending a referral to a Constitutional Court/Supreme Court or referral for a decision of the People in a referendum.
In terms of the judiciary, no sitting judge would be allowed to sit in either of the Houses of Parliament. The government/executive and the legislature would be precluded from the appointment process for judges. The independence of the judiciary would be maintained but they would be accountable and their impartiality would be paramount. The Head of State would appoint the Judiciary as recommended by the non-governmental post of Lord Chancellor.
In order to separate the government from the legislature we will make provision for the direct election of the Executive/Government. Introduce procedural changes whereby the PM and government ministers must be the servants of the peoples representatives and must first introduce all legislation in the Commons, and be accountable to the Commons. To enable this, the dispatch box will be moved to the bar and the Speaker will have an overreaching right to summons ministers.
Select Committees will have extended powers to enquire and report, with the ultimate mandate to introduce mini-Bills. The election of committee chairmen/women will be beyond the control of government or parties. Party Whips will be banned in the House of Commons.
The number of constituencies would be reduced with MPs pay benchmarked at twice the average national earnings. Candidates would have to have an affinity with their constituencies. We will promote electoral reform for election to the House of Commons, retaining single member constituencies but using the Alternative Vote system and an elected threshold of 50% + 1 of the vote. Include the option on ballot papers for the election of Members to the House of Commons for voters to choose “None of the above”. MPs would also sit on the relevant regional assembly and associated bodies
Changes would be made to the administrative and subsistence support provided to MPs. MPs would have to reside in their constituency and be accommodated in a House Lodge when House of Commons was sitting. They would have permanent constituency and parliament offices provided and staffed by a Department of Administrative Affairs. MPs personal employees would be restricted to two assistants for the Constituency and the House.
These changes would open up the way for further consequential and detailed changes.