What’s right with Parliament?

41fFuM0Ph1L__SY344_BO1,204,203,200_‘I spoke at the Hull Politics Sixth-Form Conference last September on ‘What’s right with Parliament?’  Parliament gets a great deal of criticism, some of it justified, but there are also developments which have strengthened it, not least in terms of scrutinising and influencing the executive.  This past Parliament has been more effective than its predecessors.  In my talk, I addressed the criticisms, but also drew out what was happening that was enhancing Parliament in fulfilling its functions.

This theme is one that I have developed in a forthcoming publication.  I have written the chapter on Parliament for the 8th edition of The Changing Constitution, edited by Jeffery Jowell, Dawn Oliver and Colm O’Cinneide, and being published by Oxford University Press in June.  The chapter is entitled ‘Parliament: A New Assertiveness?’  Here is the summary:

Parliament fulfils functions that are longstanding, but its relationship to government has changed over time.  It has been criticised for weakness in scrutinising legislation, holding government to account and voicing the concerns of the people.  Despite changes in both Houses in the 20th Century, the criticisms have persisted and in some areas Parliament has seen a constriction in its scope for decision-making.   The 21st Century has seen significant steps that have strengthened both Houses in carrying out its functions, the House of Commons in particular acquiring new powers.  Members of both Houses have proved willing to challenge government.  Parliament has seen a greater openness in contact with citizens.  Its remains a policy-influencing legislature, but a stronger one than in the preceding century.

To see the analysis, you will need to get hold of the book.  Get your orders in….

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About Lord Norton

Professor of Government at Hull University, and Member of the House of Lords
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6 Responses to What’s right with Parliament?

  1. Lord Norton says:

    Yes, both de facto and de jure. For more details, you will need to read the chapter….

  2. Cameron seems to be asserting a policy of more autonomy for the UK vis-a-vis the EU. I imagine if he is the one to form a new government next and it come in the midst of the changes ongoing that this could create a greater sense of the Parliament within itself. Discrimination and the drawing of distinctions often intensify a sense of identity.

    • maude elwes says:

      @ Frank:

      The British public are losing very rapidly any sense of identity. It is as a result of duplicity and complicity amongst those in government.

      They are once again openly placing corrupt politicians in so called ‘safe seats’ for the pretence of their acceptability in office. And few voters can understand how these expenses cheats are re-elected when so few of their fellow constituents have any regard for or sense of loyalty to them. This in turn sends out the message of ‘must be a rigged ballot.’

      A ‘safe seat’ is an enigma when those who vote find the person in office few put a cross to. I could give you so many newspaper examples, but, would you be able to read it?

      The general feeling throughout the UK is, we have been taken over by an alien force.

      • maude elwes says:

        @ Frank:

        As a follow up to the previous post to you.

        Here is a little reminder of Article 8 of UN legislation.

        ‘United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

        Article 8

        1. Indigenous individuals have the right not to be subjected to forced assimilation or destruction of their culture.
        2. States shall provide effective mechanisms for prevention of, and redress for :
        a) Any action which has the aim or effect of depriving them of their integrity as distinct peoples, or of their cultural values or ethnic identities;
        b) Any action which has the aim or effect of dispossessing them of their lands, territories or resources;
        c) Any form of forced population transfer which has the aim or effect of violating or undermining any of their rights;
        d) Any form of forced assimilation or integration;
        e) Any form of propaganda designed to promote or incite racial or ethnic discrimination against them; ‘

        Hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did.

  3. Pingback: Parliament: a new assertiveness? | The Norton View

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