Monday, 9 March 2009

We Need A United Kingdom Constitutional Summit Not the G20

The empty rhetoric of Global Brown illustrates cruelly the sad state of our Constitution. As he rants on about global regulation and control he fails to recognise that it is not just self interest that produces the nation state 'protectionism' that so sharply delimits his vainglorious proposals.

Other states have Constitutions that define them, set out their powers, and enshrine the aspirations of their people. They have Constitutional courts to defend those principles, to resolve conflicts between government and the state, and to interpret and refine Constitutional principles over time, ensuring that Constitutions are dynamic and constantly and appropriately in force.

The United States enjoys the supremacy of its laws; it doesn't do global (except requiring the rest of us to acknowledge that supremacy too). The European Union doesn't do European either, never mind global; that's what the Lisbon Treaty is about, and it is held up currently before the German Constitutional Court while its compatibility with the nature of the German state and its self determination is examined and ruled upon; the Constitution of Ireland is incompatible with Lisbon too , apart from the Irish people having had their constitutionally guaranteed say.

Lecturing and hectoring other countries on how to run an economy has made our Prime Minster both unpopular and now a laughing stock when England as an example of how he runs an economy is considered. In other countries much of the damage he has done would have been challenged in their courts - financial and economic legislation with retrospective effect and consequent impoverishment of classes of individuals usually gets short shrift in properly constituted states. And eliding economic protectionism (which probably isn't very helpful at the moment) with the political protection offered to citizens of other countries by their states from arbitrary alteration of the social contract is a very Brownian piece of misspeaking.

It is our misfortune to have a state where the absolute power of monarchy was devolved into the hands of an Executive with fluid, often unlegislated givens and practices governing the use of that power. Just as the state of the economy shows the world the inadequacy of Brown's stewardship as Chancellor, now he displays the inadequacy of his understanding of our (and their) democracy; and even demands that other governments' political leaders should agree his proposals as saviour of the world and emulate his performance as a tinpot dictator.

Rather than his worthless 'summit' on global economic and financial governance a national constitutional council to discuss ways of remedying our own country's disastrous democratic deficit should be called by Parliament.

2 comments:

Blue Eyes said...

Spot on. Is it my hangover or is there a sense of impending change in the air?

hatfield girl said...

Mr Darling is rebelling, I think, Blue. He's expressing regret at what's happened and responsibility for it; he's refusing the green agenda and its doubtful underpinnings; he's blocking a Brown appointee to chairman of the Bank of England and readvertising the post; he's telling it like how bad it is and how bad it must get.

The Calman Commission (always a threat because you can't touch devolution without including England now, even by the big silence where it should be) is coming up to cause lots of trouble.

And the not to be dismissed custarding of Mandelson.