A blog by Luke Akehurst about politics, elections, and the Labour Party - With subtitles for the Hard of Left. Just for the record: all the views expressed here are entirely personal and do not necessarily represent the positions of any organisations I am a member of.

Friday, July 21, 2006

What has Trident got to with MPs

Being an old fashioned type I can't agree with Jack Straw's suggestion that MPs will get a vote on replacing Trident - http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/5198708.stm

When did all this nonsense start?

Attlee and Bevin didn't even tell MPs they were building an A-Bomb let alone consult them.

Whilst we don't have a formal separation of powers in this country we do have different roles for Parliament and the Government - though some people are members of both bodies.

MPs are there to legislate and to scrutinise the executive.

The Government - as ministers of the "Crown" - are there to take non-legislative, executive decisions like do we have a new generation of strategic nuclear deterrent or do we go to war.

If MPs don't like those decisions they can always remove the Government in a confidence vote.

It isn't their job though to actually take part in Government decisions on matters of national security.

We seem to be drifting into an era of phoney "national debates" and "consultation" on key issues where what we ought to have is clear decisions that the electorate then judges at a general election.

8 Comments:

Anonymous Jo said...

Erm, this isn't quite up there with re-jigging the home office. It's going to cause a massive debate in this country (not just the moral or environmental aspects, but the cost) and the government can't afford to steam ahead with something that is going to be unpopular. And if the vote goes the way the government wants it to, then the decision has a lot more legitimacy.

6:43 pm, July 21, 2006

 
Blogger El Dave. said...

There is no point having a vote. We can't use them unless the Americans agree anyway.

5:11 pm, July 23, 2006

 
Blogger El Tom said...

'Attlee and Bevin didn't even tell MPs they were building an A-Bomb let alone consult them.'

keep it the same even if it doesn't make sense? quite a conservative sentiment there...

i think allowing MPs to vote on national security meassures would represent a good progressive democratic reform. prerogative is so archaic, outdated and undemocratic.

what is the point in parliament, by your propostition, other than to make confidence votes? more leninism...

you can be quite antidemocratic, when it suits you...

12:30 am, July 24, 2006

 
Blogger El Tom said...

though I think the point was made somewhat more elequontly here...

10:53 pm, July 24, 2006

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

They were right when they said that my taxes are paying for schools to educate illiterates who subsequently enter university unable to spell in their native tongue, or to construct anything resembing a sentence. El Tom seems to be a prime example.

9:00 am, July 26, 2006

 
Blogger El Tom said...

I try my best...

*hangs head in shame*

seriously though, it's more that I suck at typing. it doesn't come out as what I want it to...

6:20 pm, July 26, 2006

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

seriously though, it's more that I suck at typing. it doesn't come out as what I want it to...

This must be worth a first in Diversity Studies from the University of Chorlton-cum-Hardy.

12:09 am, July 27, 2006

 
Anonymous Mortlake64 said...

A big grumble can save a change of government surely? Specially a government and opposition agreed that they can't afford T.

But about scrutiny. I thought that MPs scrutinised mainly and opened villiage fetes in their spare time. This generation seem to work the other way round. My local MP (not from Hackney) knows every planning dispute that has become a an excuse for neighbours to get to know each other and has visited each group of complainers, but the planning act went through parliament recently and I don't believe she spoke. There are badly-written bits in it about the back of a building that are applied differently to L-shaped buildings by different councils.

I can see the point that an executive has to be strong enough to get through 5 years; MPs can't debate everything. But the other extreme is just as bad: 650 MPs writing letters in support of every constituent on every issue, expressing their views on high hedges and the graffiti outside the local school who do nothing but support the party whip like a robot. We could put that lot in a submarine and not miss them for years.

6:31 pm, September 13, 2009

 

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