Why The Conservative Party Leadership Battle Shows That We Need A Modern Codified Constitution.
Well it’s beautiful in Blighty, if you overlook the arrival of a certain Tangerine Tosspot and the fact that the majority of us are stuck on the sidelines as The Conservative Party prepares to pick not only their new leader but our next Prime Minister. Yep, feels weird, doesn’t it?
Knowing that the minority of the nation get to pick the person who will be guiding us into an uncertain future.
I mean forgive me, I thought we were a modern 21st century democracy. It’s just that these rules don’t seem to be what I would expect from a democracy. Let’s just go and check our Constitution. I am absolutely sure that will clear things up.
Oh wait, I can’t because apparently no government we have ever had seemed to think that would be helpful to write it down. Wonderful. Let me get this straight. I can’t read our Constitution and, while I like to think I am a very well informed cookie, I certainly don’t exactly know what it all contains.
So what you (not you specifically) are telling me is I have to trust a selection of corrupt/inept/self-serving/shady/morally repugnant politicians (delete as applicable) to actually tell me what our Constitution does and does not allow?
I am sorry but that just seems stupid. Why don’t we, y’know, just write one down. Hell, it’s not like our political system isn’t in need of a massive overhaul. Scraping First Past The Post as our Electoral System. Giving the Electoral Commission some actual fucking teeth. Getting rid of/reforming the House of Lord’s.
Hell even further devolution to the home nations (including an English devolved government). But we must be sure what we propose is constitutional, so while we’re at it why don’t we just write a new constitution?
Tying this back to the original point (I am trying to meander less when writing these things), how exactly does a Tory Leadership battle (which let’s face it, at this rate will probably see all of the Parliamentary Conservative Party declare they are entering) highlight our need for a written constitution?
Here’s an interesting little tidbit for you. Whoever wins the Tory Leadership race will be the third PM of this millennium to have ended up in the lands highest office without leading their party to an election victory before hand. It will be the second time in three years this has happened.
Yes, whoever wins will join suck fucklustrious (thank you Malcolm Tucker) company as Gordon Brown and Theresa May. And we all know what happened when both actually contested a General Election. It didn’t exactly go well, did it?
Sure, we can sit and hope whoever comes in does the honourable thing which is call an election to get a mandate from, but given that the Tories face annihilation at the polls I highly doubt even the most foolhardy of the candidates wouldn’t be stupid enough to unleash the electorate on their own party.
They will argue that this is entirely constitutional, and how exactly do you contradict that if you can essentially manipulate unwritten rules of governance to protect you?
It’s bad enough we have an out of touch political elite, an unelected upper house which some members think that they can basically do fuck all then claim expenses, and an electoral system that quite frankly isn’t fit for purpose.
But to gain a THIRD PM via a party leadership election while that party already is in power in 12 years is unacceptable whatever way you cut it.
Cling to tradition all you want but times change and so must we. In any other industry (because after is politics not merely the industry of governance) an unwritten code for them would be unacceptable, so why are those who run the country exempt?
We live in an age where we are screaming for ownership and accountability from our ruling elite, a codified constitution is the first step to implementing that. It’s time for us to swallow our pride an join the political grown ups.