Honorary degree

I promised to post a photograph taken on Monday when I received my honorary doctorate from the University of Lincoln, so – being a man of my word – here’s one of the splendid photographs that was taken.   The Cathedral provides the backdrop.


About Lord Norton

Professor of Government at Hull University, and Member of the House of Lords
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10 Responses to Honorary degree

  1. Frank W. Summers III says:

    Good picture! Not a bad christmas card — it has Christianity (the Cathedral), red , green, festive dress and the identity of the sender. Pretty good for a picture not actually made for a Christmas card.

    • Lord Norton says:

      Frank W. Summers III: You are very persuasive. Your comment, and that of macarthurmutterings in the earlier post, may sway the day…

      • Frank W. Summers III says:

        Lord Norton,
        I hope Your Lordship will not think it ungrateful if Isay that if I could pick someone I might have persuaded to something in my writings today it might not have been your choice of a Christmas Card. However, taking what I can get and following up, I think a simple comuter generated border with an inescapable Christmas theme (such as twined holly and ivy)would make it an entirely attractive card for that purpose…

  2. ladytizzy says:

    You may just have beaten the supermarkets in the annual Christmas (sh)elf stockings.


    I’m committing a few thoughts to paper on the Lords Reform Bill and have a few questions on the specific issue of the importance of House expertise, widely credited, but how valid is the claim? Is the breadth and depth of expertise within the HoL superior to that which can be sought by the HoC and its Select Committees?

    Separately, does democracy demand a specific quality from its representatives? If probity is not essential, what is?


  3. Frank W. Summers III says:

    Lady Tizzy,
    Given our discussions of ambiguity here in the TNV I thought you might take a look at:

    Then I can’t help but interject a thought that while probity may be so intrinsic a value it can never be dismissed that does not mean first of all that it is always going manifest itself in identical ways nor secondly that it will be the paramount ideal. Democracy itself differs not only in practice but in ideal andprobity means adherence to ideals. Therefore there are vastly differing ideals just in terms of non-historic structural analysis although eah option has had several real regimes that aspired to it.
    I.Exclusive Democracy:
    1.Political and economic total democracy: The finest ideal is the greatest good for the greatest number as embodied in an improving and fine polity led by the most able as directed by the whole.

    2.Civil Democracy: Majority and Consensus elements seek to create equal justice, due process and political integrity throughcivil institutions and civic virtue with respect for individual and minority rights.
    II.Partite Democracy:
    1. Sovereign Democracy: it has many forms I will not bore you with variants here and it may recognize a constituted monarchy and not a constituted aristocracy or vice versa and to different degrees but the majority and consensus elements are the trustess of the commonwealth and public good and act to insure there dominance as well.
    2.Democracy as Jointly sovereign: The democratic element is equal as a whole to one or both of the other parts — theconstitutional monarchy and the constitional aristocracy. This has the most variants of all but in this condition laws and istitutions (including religion) are of extreme importance politicians are expected to behave as players fierce but respectful of a game that is far more than their play.
    3.A constituional Democracy that is subordinate. Here the majority and consensus elements express opinions, operate as watchdogs and hold rights. In the case of regimes like the Roman Kingdom and Republic and better Empire days they may have very effective and yet limited veto powers. But their duty is mostly to protect the rights and property and human basic neeeds of common people as a caonstituional party or lobbying force.

    These may all seem very different but compared to regimes without a constituted democracy they really can seem markedly similar. Perhaps you meant British democracy. Even that one might argue has been in flux for quite some time…

    • ladytizzy says:

      Frank, you got me – http://acronyms.thefreedictionary.com/TNV – do tell!

      re the democracy thing: I was wondering what, if any, qualities are attached to representatives who have been popularly elected that necessarily differentiate them from others who attain power. Shouldn’t this single parameter be sufficiently answered to justify whichever form of democracy one looks at?

      As you point out, democracy is an open door and trends are towards selected rather than elected. To this end it could be argued that the HoL has already reached the 80% threshold mentioned in the Draft Bill in that recent nominations have largely come from elected Prime Ministers.

      • Frank W. Summers III says:

        Lady Tizzy,

        As to elections I would not prmote the change whether I was British or not but I do believe they are the crucial issue. It is the limiting of non-conciliar elections to open candidacies subject to the general popular elctorate that have together wiped out vast electoral traditions. I think the answer to your question” what, if any, qualities are attached to representatives who have been popularly elected that necessarily differentiate them from others who attain power?” is somewhat varied but the desire to have access to power and to support those who have few resources tends to increase while the bringing in of autonomous power and influence tends to decrease the more one is empowered by an open and popular election. I think diminishing the seats of hereditaries in the way it was done was a bad mistake. If they were whittled down by a combination of dilution of those always seated, rotation among other and election of a few more from among the hereditaries and then these seats had been joined to many peers who were appointed for skills and personal qualites that would have been good. But they most of all embodied the qulaity of independence. That is less so in Western Europe and in Britain than in in the North East Mediterranean where my own roots most derive but still native aristocrats add that sense of autonomy and independence which is so difficult to weave into the fabric more readily than any other group. The least indepndent of the executive or the appointees serving at pleasure, then appointees serving at fixed terms. Social independence is weakest in those popularly elected at open candidacy. Each movement of structure produces many largely predictable results. Conquest is not all bad but is usually worse, bureaucracy is varied but often insular in d bad ways. Pure and unalloyed hereditry systems have predictable weakenesses.

        My grandfather was (among other things) Chief Justice of the Louisiana Supreme Court. His elevation at chief was decided when he became the most senior Justice in years served. He was elected Justice by the general populace in a region to a group of state-wide officials serving on the court. He served several long fixed terms being re-elected after each. The constitution required that he be a lawyer in good standing with the State and Local bar and Bench. Unwritten gentlemen’s agreements required he be endorsed originaly by a couple of several possible lawyers associations and one of a large group of judges capable of nomination and then be dsignated tolerable by several party aparatus operators. Both the type of person and the behavior of the person in office are shaped by the process. Nothing is without effect. This was the sort of analysis to which Aristotle devoted more energy than to any other pursuit. In classsical political science it is believed that freedom in the libertarian sense can least survive a Chief Executive and head of State directly elected by the majority of an entire polity. We are drifting toward that system in the USA…. Nobody much does classical political science these days…

      • Frank W. Summers III says:

        TNV = The Norton View

  4. macarthursmutterings says:

    My you do look awfully dashing

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