.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Tuesday, December 06, 2022

Labour's damp squib

Never believe the hype, a phrase that lends itself to Gordon Brown's constitutional review with unerring accuracy. As the Independent says, Brown himself described his report as the ‘biggest transfer of power out of Westminster’ ever seen, unfortunately, for those of us who want to see real reform, it was just another damp squib.

In particular, the absence of any proposal to reform the voting system for Westminster and other elections is a major omission. As the Labour MP Clive Lewis, a former member of the shadow cabinet, says:: “A welcome acknowledgement in the Brown report is that millions feel ‘neglected, ignored, and invisible’. In short, disempowered. The basis of any democracy is the ability to be heard. That starts with an electoral system where votes count equally – PR.”

The Independent points out that Labour’s annual conference in September voted for the party to back proportional representation in Westminster elections, but Keir Starmer ruled out its inclusion in the manifesto, saying: “It’s not a priority for me.”.

That is a major error. How for example can these half-baked reforms be a priority, when allowing people to have an equal voice in electing their government is not? Fair voting is the major structural change that this country needs.

There is diappointment on other levels too, not least the lack of any overall vision or constitutional model for the UK as a whole. It is all very well devolving powers piecmmeal, but without a propor Federal framework, all that does is allow resentment to build up in areas that do not have those powers or the local democratic structure to implement them.

Even with the powers devolved to Wales, enshrining the Sewell convention in law is welcome but why only devolve small parts of the justice system to Wales?

These proposals are a mess. Why did we expect anything else?
Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?