There is just one point that has been missed by many of the commentariat in both old and new media about the competition between David Cameron and Jack Straw for ideas that involve tinkering round the edges of our derelict parliamentary system.
Recall of MPs, set-term parliaments, committees elected by back-bench members, more scrutiny of legislation, all sound wonderful ideas but none of them tackle the main issues of legislation being done by bodies we do not elect or control.
Cameron is also talking about devolving power to ever lower rungs of government, an idea that he may or may not have acquired from Daniel Hannan and Douglas Carswell. Nothing wrong with that, though having a quango to supervise the House of Commons finances does not seem to me to be a step in the right direction.
This, however, has turned into articles and headlines that tell us about David Cameron wanting to devolve power to the people. If that is what the Boy-King means then he has completely misunderstood the basic tenet of modern English and Anglospheric power structure. The state cannot devolve power to the people because it belongs to them in the first place; the state does not grant the people liberties because those liberties are the people's property. It is all the other way round: the people might, for various reasons, loan powers and agree to forego their liberties for certain purposes. It is high time our politicians grasped this simple fact.
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