The previous government attempted the reform of the House of Lords in two stages, but succeeded only in the first. All that the last government could achieve was the disgraceful expulsion of the hereditary peers, except the ninety-two happily redeemed by the present Marquess of Salisbury. No-one could agree on what should replace the hybrid arrangements left after 1999, and they cannot agree on it now.
Tuesday, 10 July 2012
Monday, 9 July 2012
Wednesday, 4 July 2012
The Great Doctor writes, in a well-known passage:
How any man can have consented to institutions established in distant ages, it will be difficult to explain. In the most favourite residence of liberty, the consent of individuals is merely passive; a tacit admission, in every community, of the terms which that community grants and requires. As all are born the subjects of some state or other, we may be said to have been all born consenting to some system of government. Other consent than this the condition of civil life does not allow. It is the unmeaning clamour of the pedants of policy, the delirious dream of republican fanaticism.
Quite right, and the pedants of policy and the delirious dreamers are still clamouring, on both sides of the Atlantic.
Monday, 2 July 2012
We never expect much good news at Plumstead Rectory, but we can't see any downside to this. The country has, in the Great Doctor's words, been fairly polled, and the hereditary right of the sacred monarch is acclaimed by the people. Not only that, but the sovereign power has been used, not as it more usually is to oppress and destroy, but for the protection of the weakest. And in this the people have also heartily concurred. D.G.
Sadly none of this has occurred in the life of our own dear constitution, but in a far-away land of which we know little. Nonetheless, rejoicing with them, we find the Principality of Liechenstein to be more and more to our liking. Others may wish the United Kingdom to become more like the United States of America, Scandinavia, or Singapore, but the reactionary choice must now be clear.