The atmosphere in both Houses is markedly different from what it was last year. The political situation has been transformed. There is a sense if not of normalcy, then at least of some stability. One of the manifestations of this has been the publication of recess dates up to October. Members can actually plan ahead for more than a week or so.
I am one of the beneficiaries of this relative stability in that it has enabled me to complete the manuscript for Governing Britain. It has just gone off to the publishers. As those who follow me on Twitter will know, in the latter half of last year I was having to revise the manuscript on a weekly, sometimes a daily, basis. Now the election is out the way, we can move to production.
As I explain in the preface, the purpose of the book is neither to provide a comprehensive introduction to the constitution of the United Kingdom, nor offer prescriptions for change. There are various works that already do one or both. Rather, it draws out questions thrown up by the changes of recent years. They are questions that in some measure break the silence of the constitution. They are elucidated through examining the principles underpinning the constitution, primarily parliamentary sovereignty and the rule of law, constitutional conventions and practices, the extent to which they are contested and how they shape the relationships at the heart of government. The focus is on features that are ambiguous or misunderstood and the implications of recent constitutional and political change.
The book is being published by Manchester University Press in May. I will post more details before it appears on the shelves. Information can also be found on the publisher’s website. As you will see, it is being published at what I think is a very reasonable price of £16.99 and in good time for the new academic year – and in very good time for Christmas!