Tag Archives: attorney general

Parliament should have scrutiny powers? How radical can you get?

If you want evidence of how weak the UK’s model of Parliamentary democracy truly is, you only need to glance at this article:

Parliament should be able to bypass ministers and launch its own inquiries into issues of “exceptional” public concern such as the Iraq war, MPs say.

This is a power that pretty much every single Parliament in an established democracy takes for granted. It goes to the heart of the point of democracy, yet here it is considered to be radical and should be reserved for “exceptional” circumstances.

Meanwhile, the government’s Constitutional Renewal Bill, which was supposed to usher in a new era of Parliamentary scrutiny, only actually codifies existing conventions on things like the government’s (or “Crown’s” if you will) war and treaty-making powers, and actually proposes to reduce scrutiny of the attorney general. Even Charlie Falconer dismisses it as “trivial“. That is what Gordon Brown chose to launch his premiership on all those months ago – a complete figleaf. Is it any wonder his government is collapsing like a compost heap on a sunny day?