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parrot_knight [userpic]

Petition the Queen to dissolve parliament?

May 15th, 2009 (02:54 pm)

Seen through a link at www.politicshome.com - Craig Murray calls for hidden potential in the unwritten constitution to be put to use to end this parliament widely seen as tired and mired, and bring on a general election:

http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2009/05/petition_the_qu.html

Comments

Posted by: The Mezzo Mongoose (miss_next)
Posted at: May 15th, 2009 02:06 pm (UTC)

I signed it. I'm fed up with the whole pack of them.

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: May 15th, 2009 02:14 pm (UTC)
UK_politics

I'm still considering; but it's an interesting idea.

Posted by: Gramarye (gramarye1971)
Posted at: May 15th, 2009 02:08 pm (UTC)
Queen and Crossbow

...so will I have to write a Treasury Black-Ops fic to present the final showdown between HMQ and Gordon Brown? Crossbows and all?

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: May 15th, 2009 02:14 pm (UTC)
Palace_fire

I think it's an essential contribution to the current situation!

Posted by: Gramarye (gramarye1971)
Posted at: May 15th, 2009 08:01 pm (UTC)

Posted by: Matthew (emperor)
Posted at: May 15th, 2009 02:10 pm (UTC)

Surely Mr Murray must realise this is an empty gesture? HM cannot in practice dissolve parliament.

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: May 15th, 2009 02:13 pm (UTC)

This is exactly the proposition he is trying to test.

Posted by: Chris Crawshaw (amalion)
Posted at: May 15th, 2009 03:21 pm (UTC)

Posted by: hack (overconvergent)
Posted at: May 17th, 2009 07:24 am (UTC)

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: May 17th, 2009 10:36 am (UTC)

Posted by: louisedennis (louisedennis)
Posted at: May 15th, 2009 02:19 pm (UTC)

I'm not entirely clear how it helps - surely we'll just get more of the same back again after an election.

What I fail to understand is the lack of the kind of oversight of expenses the Inland Revenue clearly applies to universities (at the very least). It's like no one anywhere in the system could tell the differences between a legitimate expense, a taxable perk, and a blatant fiddle. Just hiring new MPs isn't going to fix that.

Posted by: philmophlegm (philmophlegm)
Posted at: May 15th, 2009 02:29 pm (UTC)
NewWorldOrder

Exactly - an early election would be counter-productive. We don't know the full situation. We probably don't know the identities of all the Members behaving unethically. Local constituency parties wouldn't have the chance to deselect candidates and people wanting to stand for election as 'Independent' or 'Anti-Corruption Party' candidates or whatever wouldn't get the chance to build support.

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: May 15th, 2009 02:34 pm (UTC)

(Deleted comment)
Posted by: philmophlegm (philmophlegm)
Posted at: May 15th, 2009 03:03 pm (UTC)

(Deleted comment)
Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: May 15th, 2009 03:42 pm (UTC)

Posted by: philmophlegm (philmophlegm)
Posted at: May 15th, 2009 04:13 pm (UTC)

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: May 15th, 2009 04:17 pm (UTC)

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: May 15th, 2009 03:59 pm (UTC)

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: May 15th, 2009 02:43 pm (UTC)

Posted by: nineveh_uk (nineveh_uk)
Posted at: May 15th, 2009 02:22 pm (UTC)

Assuming that he wishes for the parliament to go because he considers it to be anti-democratic, I don't see why something that must inherently be more anti-democratic is a good solution.

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: May 15th, 2009 02:37 pm (UTC)

Such are the dangers of populism. I wonder what Murray thinks of government by e-petition? An unelected executive getting the public to vote online on soundbite propositions is not a good proposition.

Posted by: philmophlegm (philmophlegm)
Posted at: May 15th, 2009 02:53 pm (UTC)

(Deleted comment)
Posted by: philmophlegm (philmophlegm)
Posted at: May 15th, 2009 03:05 pm (UTC)

(Deleted comment)
Posted by: Virgers! How are we doing with those explosives? (tree_and_leaf)
Posted at: May 15th, 2009 03:11 pm (UTC)

Posted by: hack (overconvergent)
Posted at: May 17th, 2009 07:29 am (UTC)

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: May 17th, 2009 10:31 am (UTC)

Posted by: Edmund Schluessel (st_lemur)
Posted at: May 15th, 2009 02:41 pm (UTC)

I've heard worse ideas. You're not going to fix the inherent undemocratic traits in the UK system without rewriting the whole thing; might as well use the least stupid option (I've heard people seriously hope for a military coup in order to block things like anti-privacy legislation)

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: May 15th, 2009 03:15 pm (UTC)
US_politics

One of the catalysts for the American Revolution was the failure of George III to respond to petitioning of this kind, because he thought it was unconstitutional to separate himself from parliament. When the United States abandoned its first unicameral model of confederal government and moved to the present constitution, it created a figure much more in the Americans' image of the British monarch than the British monarch at the time was.

George could be an interventionist in the parliamentary system, using the secret service money at the king's disposal to support ministerial parliamentary candidates, and notoriously in December 1783 sacking the government led in the Lords by the duke of Portland and in the Commons by Charles James Fox and Lord North, and imposing William Pitt the Younger and the 'Mince Pie administration'. George sustained the government by force of will and money through defeat after defeat until they had a majority in the Commons, then dissolving parliament and calling a general election which Pitt won. Later monarchs followed this example, but without the royal money sloshing around, and with some success; in 1834 William IV dismissed Lord Melbourne's government, thinking it had run out of steam, and appointed the duke of Wellington as prime minister, who accepted only on the grounds that he would resign as soon as Sir Robert Peel got back from holiday in Tuscany; that this was the first Peel had heard of this arrangement didn't help matters, and the king had to reappoint Melbourne after he won the general election. In December 1905 Edward VII appointed the Liberal leader, Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman, prime minister, after the Conservative prime minister, A.J.Balfour, had resigned when still commanding a majority in the Commons; until the general election of January 1906 it was emphatically the king's mandate that maintained 'CB' in office, not one from parliament or the electorate. Still, none of these cases are at all similar to what Murray wants.

(Deleted comment)
Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: May 15th, 2009 03:34 pm (UTC)

Belief in the virtuous qualities of representative government, and beyond that the voice of the people, is as much a matter of faith as anything; but the voice of the people speaks only what it is asked by someone who gets into a position to ask a question loud enough.

I've long wished for a more proportional form of representation for Westminster elections; I think it would change the dynamic and provide a more accurate picture of opinion in the country; but perhaps that's more wishfulness speaking.

Posted by: tigerfort (tigerfort)
Posted at: May 15th, 2009 03:53 pm (UTC)

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: May 15th, 2009 04:07 pm (UTC)

Posted by: philmophlegm (philmophlegm)
Posted at: May 15th, 2009 04:20 pm (UTC)

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: May 15th, 2009 04:23 pm (UTC)

Posted by: Virgers! How are we doing with those explosives? (tree_and_leaf)
Posted at: May 15th, 2009 03:08 pm (UTC)
Anglican socialist weirdo

The trouble is, if parliament is dissolved at the moment, either Labour will scrape back in, which would be more of the same, or Dave bloody Cameron and the Tories will get in, and I strongly suspect they'd be worse. We haven't even got a Cromwell (and I know perfectly well that I'd have hated Cromwell, for all Charles I was a disaster who brought his ruin on himself).

Currently, when I think about politics, I alternate between an inclination to some sort of revolution (but this is not practical), and feeling that the most constructive thing I could do would be to become a Dominican (except I can't, not being RC!)

Edited for the obvious icon....

Edited at 2009-05-15 03:09 pm (UTC)

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: May 15th, 2009 03:30 pm (UTC)
Charles II

The new parliament, if elected now or three/four weeks from now, whichever is the most practical, would be full of green (but largely also blue) MPs who wouldn't know the ropes and would be less likely to get to grips with the rules imposed on the Fees Office by generations of MPs.

As for party politics, I think that neither main party have particularly convincing policies at present; the Conservatives are showing more leadership at present at a superficial level, but the dismissal of Andrew Mackay, for example, could well be so much showmanship. The election of a new parliament now would make the body politic feel spiritually cleansed, for all of a weekend.

As for Charles I and Cromwell, Charles II had fewer illusions about the perfectability of human existence than either, hence this icon.

Posted by: The Two Trees (arda_unmarred)
Posted at: May 16th, 2009 05:47 pm (UTC)

Posted by: Virgers! How are we doing with those explosives? (tree_and_leaf)
Posted at: May 16th, 2009 05:54 pm (UTC)

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: May 17th, 2009 12:15 am (UTC)

Posted by: Virgers! How are we doing with those explosives? (tree_and_leaf)
Posted at: May 17th, 2009 08:33 am (UTC)

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: May 17th, 2009 10:27 am (UTC)

Posted by: The Two Trees (arda_unmarred)
Posted at: May 18th, 2009 11:57 am (UTC)

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: May 18th, 2009 12:09 pm (UTC)

Posted by: colinbj (colinbj)
Posted at: May 15th, 2009 05:46 pm (UTC)

As a more realistic alternative: remember Martin Bell, who successfully stood as an anti-corruption candidate against Neil Hamilton a decade ago?

He kept his pledge to serve only one term, but he is now the one non-party-political person who would not be a helpless 'new boy' in the Commons. He recently founded the Independent Network, to encourage new independent candidates.

We need to persuade him to found a new party. In these Internet days, it shouldn't be hard to find and vet 600-odd volunteers who have no previous connection with politics, local or national. Given a year to prepare, they could sweep the board.

More trivially: in the unlikely event of the Speaker trying to stay on after the General Election, there is a convention the main parties do not put up candidates against him, but a Martin-Bell-like challenger might well succeed.

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: May 15th, 2009 10:52 pm (UTC)
UK_politics

I don't think Bell would ever found a new party; it would be a betrayal of his campaign for independent spirits.

Posted by: The Two Trees (arda_unmarred)
Posted at: May 16th, 2009 06:17 pm (UTC)
Telperion

I hate Brown, and I hate new Labour. But I am forced to vote for them, because the alternative is too horrible to contemplate from an ideological point of view (and won't be any more competent at running the country either: they are only in the lead in the opinion polls because they are the opposition and because Rupert Murdoch is supposed to be on their side).

In a way, we are back to the situation of a 100 years ago, with no party in existence that would represent and protect the poor and the vulnerable and stamp down on the excesses of the rich and the powerful.

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: May 17th, 2009 12:08 am (UTC)

It's questionable whether Labour was any good at that; and while I've always wondered what would have happened if the trades unions had maintained their earlier policy of 'entryism' into both Conservative and Liberal parties (a rather useless counterfactualism, admittedly), at least they focused the fear the middle and upper classes had of revolution, and successfully represented a wish for collective self-improvement (as well, admittedly, good old-fashioned resentment of the wealthy) which doesn't really exist now.

Posted by: The Two Trees (arda_unmarred)
Posted at: May 18th, 2009 12:16 pm (UTC)

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: May 19th, 2009 12:24 am (UTC)