I took part last week in the debate on the Queen’s Speech on the day when we focused on constitutional issues. I was concerned not to address particular measures, but rather to stand back at look more broadly at what was being proposed. Part of the problem has been that measures have been debated on their individual merits, but not considered in the context of the constitution qua constitution. As I put it:
The gracious Speech makes the case for something that is not in it. The same can be said of many Queen’s Speeches since 1997. Successive Governments have introduced significant constitutional changes, but the changes have derived from no clear view of where we are going.
I used the opportunity to make the case for a constitutional convocation. The terminology is deliberate. The term ‘constitutional convention’ carries too much baggage, often denoting a body created to write a new constitution. I don’t want a body to tell us where to go. I want one that helps us make sense of where we are.
The speech can be read here. It is relatively short. Because of the number of speakers in the debate, there was an advisory speaking time of seven minutes. I spoke for seven minutes.