6 Reform Pledges for the UK
I don’t care which side of the new political divide you’re on or how virtuous you believe your case. One thing is clear to me, underlying the issues is a country that faces a fundamental need for reform. Some are easier than others. I’ve considered them, and I'd like EVERY SINGLE party to pledge to reform these in unifying bills to truly maximise whatever sovereignty each side ends up with.
So this is a start. What do you think?
SINGLE LOCK RULE: “Change of PM triggers a GE”
When a PM changes, a GE should be triggered. In our democracy, constituents vote for local MPs, but they do so with one large eye upon who leads the party. A change in the leader may in fact have shifted their view on their MP.
With all the talk of confirmatory votes — this not only seems fair, it seems necessary. I see no defence otherwise.
DOUBLE LOCK RULE “MP changing party”
As above, constituents vote for the individual as a package. They stand in front of a manifesto, below a leader. If they choose to leave both of those fundamental features of their appeal, it should automatically trigger a by-election.
I’ve been stunned by how the lack of this rule has been manipulated across the house.
SPEAKER IS A JUDGE “Judges pick a speaker for 4-year tenure”
We have a triumvirate in terms of the balance of power. People, Parliament, Judiciary. It seems impossibly obtuse to me that the speaker is an MP and is then able to self-govern conventions with little means by which to extract them.
It also seems bizarre to the point of untenable that a speaker can occupy a chair longer than a US President can sit atop the [current] most powerful country in the world.
Let’s challenge the judiciary — which is amongst the best in the world to fill this chair with a Judge Speaker.
PARLIAMENT TOUR RULE “Those who govern leave their bubble”
Have you been to a meeting where inclusion and diversity were cited? Well it seems it applies to all we do, apart from govern. It’s time the rest of the UK was included in governing.
London has proven itself a bubble time and again. The case for London hosting the Olympics was one of “regeneration”. What of the same logic for a touring parliament?
I am not talking about a scenario such as the EU Parliament’s train to Strasbourg, of course, I am talking about pre-planned, long term rotation. With a decent tenure for each host city — minimum of two years, perhaps?
Why can’t Newcastle host a parliament cycle in 2030? Planning the infrastructure for it would be a huge boost, the tourism, the trade, the everything! It excites me just considering it. It’s clear from images that the Commons cannot even fit what MPs we already have.
Can you honestly tell me Scottish nationalism wouldn’t be appeased somewhat by them hosting Parliament for FOUR YEARS IN EDINBURGH OR ABERDEEN?
It would create an exciting bidding process, an industry of inclusion, and internal tourism and awareness benefits. It would build bridges, heal divides and frankly, give London a dose of much-needed humility about the other members of Team UK.
In my view, the left behind infrastructure could be used by new DEVOLVED REGIONAL ASSEMBLIES.
DEVOLVED REGIONAL ASSEMBLIES “Mayors that matter”
In my view, it’s high time proper devolution was afforded to the regions of England, in particular. The key part of this for me is giving each region a local HMRC office under their control. And allowing them powers to flex tax with harmonised bandings.
Tell me Andy Burnham wouldn’t dearly love to change his income tax levels? Well, what about the people of the North West? Give them a vote on a Mayor who can.
Let’s flow tax upward, from the grassroots where it’s created. Let’s give regional tax collectors more local insight and power — balancing the huge centralised model that has so much on its plate!
Let the local regions decide this all at once, on the same day. A great devolution.
LORDS SENATE — “Half-elected second chamber”
I value the concept of tenure in society and reward for exemplary careers or success. So I’m actually of the belief the Lords system isn’t wholly without merit. I know many others do so a fair compromise seems to be to elect Lord Senators — less is more, of course.
Find me a person that can argue the best of both worlds is never a good starting point?
Lord Senators would be matched by Lord Incumbents — there could never be more of the latter than the former for a given vote or parliament.
FURTHER INTEREST IN MY IDEAS?
I have far more policy ideas — including Devolving the Whip so it flows upwards from constituents to MPs, where constituents can thereby instruct their MP to defy their party whip… not break the DOUBLE LOCK.