Posted 20 hours ago

How Westminster Works . . . and Why It Doesn't

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Parliament, parties, the media, the civil service and the law are all shatteringly exposed as rusted vehicles of inactivity, where long-term thinking is a dirty idea. The House of Lords has shown remarkable independence, a real ability to affect the outcome of legislation by managing its own timetable and contributing much-needed expertise (the cross-bench system, he argues, works particularly well). The big idea was that they would be incentivised with a “payment by results” system, calculated according to how many people fell back into crime. He describes how they were created in 1979 by an independent-minded Conservative, Norman St John-Stevas—soon sacked by Thatcher because too independent—precisely to challenge prime ministerial control of the House of Commons.

A resolve to be a giant among men, to conquer, plunder and seize the greatness that he thinks is his right. He is right that public agitation has achieved change, including laws against race and sex discrimination.In Love Is Not Enough, Mark’s first Audible Original, you’ll follow five real people over the course of six months as they navigate f--ked up romantic situations, ranging from dating app addiction to marital affairs to absurd fantasies. The Treasury blames politicians for refusing to discuss tax policy rationally, but Dunt asks whether it has tried hard enough to do so. In clear, reasonable tones Ian Dunt lays out why we should all be bloody furious at how badly British politics serves us. Also, unlike many other countries in Europe and elsewhere, there is little devolution of powers to regions in England. There's a reason We Are Legion was named Audible's Best Science Fiction Book of 2016: Its irresistibly irreverent wit!

Their meetings are private and unwhipped and a 2016 survey found that the chairs rebel against the government more than backbenchers. As Dunt describes, Harold Wilson in his 1964–1970 government was anxious to improve government expertise to match and advance the technical and technological skills of the modern world, to assist his aim to develop the “white heat of technology” through his new Ministry of Technology, and to revive the flagging British economy. It lacks democratic legitimacy and “is the one institution in Westminster that apparently everyone agrees must be reformed,” but “It is …one of the only aspects of our constitutional arrangements that actually works” (p.Like Fake Law by The Secret Barrister (this was my Book of the Year in 2020 and you can read my review of it here) , it is one of those books I have been talking about to my friends when I am trying to find ways to illustrate things I feel very strongly without perhaps having the best words or the authority to persuade them myself. The book lays out, clearly and concisely, the reasons why our government has failed us so spectacularly. There is a two-to-three year window before the power gets to their heads and they think only of how to stay in office as long as possible.

It was approved by the Treasury and required no new legislation, so there was no parliamentary debate, and it was largely ignored in the media, apart from the Guardian which made a sustained assessment of its effects. Dunt also describes how an independent-minded Speaker of the House of Commons, notably John Bercow, can encourage independent-minded, rebellious Members by facilitating debates on amendments to legislation, emergency debates, and urgent questions, ignoring established rules when necessary—hence Bercow’s unpopularity with successive governments.With typical incision, wit and flair, Ian Dunt masterfully deconstructs and skewers our corrosive political culture.

This has long been known to be heavily biased, notably against women which has been exposed in detail over time but is not discussed here. By 2017, the complex new organization was falling apart, causing serious harm, including murders, by incompetently supervised probationers. The author illustrates the depth of these problems through a combination of choice historical (recent If it were and included explanation to these levels, both good and bad, then maybe there would be a chance for future reintroduction of practical moral sanity to our electoral and political systems. Our political and financial system is cloaked in secrecy, archaic terminology, ancient custom and impenetrable technical jargon.

There she is given the chance to undo her regrets and try out each of the other lives she might have lived. But more important is change to the voting system, which is at the heart of Westminster’s weakness, since first-past-the-post ignores the preferences of the majority of voters and eliminates the need for compromise which is central to the coalition governments resulting from PR voting, encouraging better government and longer-term thinking. He decided to drive through the change from an ideological conviction, shared by the leaders of his party, in the superiority of the private over the public sector. The recent book by journalist and author Ian Dunt provides a detailed and critical account of many aspects of the UK’s political system, including political parties and elections, parliament and the legislative process, the work of ministers and civil servants in Whitehall, and the role of the media. Not all is bad in Westminster - the standing committee system works well and encourages cooperation across parties, with chairs being elected by the committees themselves and thus serving more as moderators and consensus builders with genuine interests in the subject matter.

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