Friday, July 03, 2009

The Divine Right of Politicians

Cranmer has received a few requests to comment upon the Government’s plans for a super-parliamentary quango – IPSA (the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority); a body to which our elected representatives would be accountable, possessing the power to dismiss them regardless of the will of their constituents. When it speaks, it’s word shall be the law to which Parliament will submit.

It was Harold Macmillan who asserted: ‘We have not overthrown the divine right of kings to fall down for the divine right of experts.’

But that is precisely what Gordon Brown is now doing.

There are legitimate areas of concern with regard to the Bill of Rights 1689, which is the property of the people. Article IX specifically protects parliamentary proceedings from legal assault, which Clause 10 of the Parliamentary Standards Bill specifically overrides. Notwithstanding that the Government lost a vote this week on the admission of parliamentary speeches as evidence in criminal proceedings, the centuries-old concept of parliamentary privilege and the accountability of parliamentarians to their constituents instead of to an executive power is gravely undermined by this proposed Bill.

Thomas Paine observed ‘Government has no right to make itself a party in any debate respecting the principles or modes of forming, or of changing, constitutions. It is not for the benefit of those who exercise the powers of government, that constitutions, and the governments issuing from them, are established. In all those matters, then rights of judging and acting are in those who pay, and not those who receive.’

Our ‘professional’ political class, having rightly removed absolute power from the monarch, has schemed to remove the checks upon its own power. We have exchanged the arbitrary power of the Stuart king for the arbitrary power of the House of Commons. What benefit has come of this exchange?


Anonymous Stalin's ghost said...

That's the way do do it!

I'm looking forward to the show trials.

3 July 2009 at 12:27  
Anonymous not a machine said...

I have very grave concerns too your grace , about this , it is of course pleasently wrapped in the mps expenses fiasco .
This is what so sinister about Labours approach to this .

on expenses :all they had to do was define what an mp could claim for and enforce it .

the star chamber :again agree with party leaders , wrong expense claims pay it back or deselection , no need for show trials and expensive commission.

new parlimentary governing body: As your article points out , it will perhaps be more difficult to shame this group , as they will have been given an air of authority (not by the people) and it is yet another attempt to turn our parliment into little more than a town council for EU rule.

As you point out any changes in the way parliment is fundamentally structured has to be put to the public anything else is dictatorship by stealth

3 July 2009 at 13:18  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3 July 2009 at 13:29  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your Grace,

The Biblical warning against straining against gnats and swallowing camels would appear pertinent here.

Concerns that M.P.s might lose Parliamentary immunity under this legislation pale into insignificance when set against the emasculation of Westminster which has been achieved by subservience to the E.U., supported by all three major Parties at Westminster.

Never mind the byelaws - penalty for smoking on the lower deck, abusing the conductor - ring the bell and get off the bus it is going in the wrong direction.

3 July 2009 at 13:52  
Blogger Gnostic said...

If this ends up on the books we will all be well and truly quangoed. Hopefully the Lords will live up to its threat and throw the thing out. Pity we can't throw Brown and his looney-tunes government out with it.

3 July 2009 at 16:32  
Anonymous philip walling said...

It all flows from the abolition of the right of hereditary peers to sit in the Lords. They were nearly the last bastion against tyranny (the Queen is the last) and that they went like lambs made it all the clearer how much in tune they were with the public interest: "You don't want us anymore? Well, all right, we'll push off then!"
Compare their behaviour with this poxy government's that clings to power in the teeth of popular hatred and governs in anything but the public interest.
Compare the Queen's sense of duty and honour with this 'elected' crew of mountebanks and thugs and ask yourself whether it's better than being governed by an hereditary monarchy and peerage.
The Duke of Wellington's prediction of what Lord Grey's Reform Act would lead to looks remarkably prescient.

3 July 2009 at 18:38  
OpenID jamestheless said...

"We have exchanged the arbitrary power of the Stuart king for the arbitrary power of the House of Commons."

Your Grace appears to be in the mood for strange theories.

I therefore propose that the Stuarts secretly invented a time travel machine during the Civil War; to try it out, they sent Gordon Brown into the future. Unfortunately, just as he had found a seemingly promising era and was about to grab power, the machine's operators were killed in a surprise attack by the Roundheads, who then destroyed the machine. Thereby leaving him trapped in the 21st century, ever more full of bile and resentment as he was forced to rule in a completely alien world, without any advice from his controllers.

3 July 2009 at 23:55  
Anonymous stedmancinques said...

In the United States constitution, a member can be expelled from either house for misconduct by a two-thirds majority.
In practice, this has very rarely happened principally because, in the words of a 2003 report to Congress on the issue, 'The authority to expel has thus been used cautiously, particularly when the institution of Congress might be seen as usurping or supplanting its own institutional judgment for that of the electorate as to the character or fitness for office of someone the people have chosen to represent them in Congress.'
Brown rushes in where Obama fears to tread. The authority of the Mother of Parliaments is set at naught, the Sovereignty of the People is a contemptible nothing. The sovereign representative of a sovereign people is to be answerable to a Quango of placemen. What debased and despicable times we live in.

4 July 2009 at 23:08  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's rather like the Standards Board for councillors, which has become a tool for enforcing political correctness and removing elected councillors who fail to comply, rather than a body to prevent corruption.

6 July 2009 at 22:00  
Blogger Diezba said...

I believe there was a saying amongst American Tories just before the Revolution, that went something like this:

"Why should I trade one tyrant 3,000 miles away for 3,000 tyrants 1 mile away?"

It seems that the Right Honourable and Honourable Ladies and Gentlemen in Commons have picked up on this.

8 July 2009 at 16:03  

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