26 April, EU Referendum, under “UK Politics, Running Out Of Laws” says that
MP’s are not being lazy in spending less time at Westminster , having other things to do which
are part of the job and are properly occupied.
out that as far as the trade of law making goes our rulers, elected or
unelected have never been busier. A
veritable tsunami of laws has been coming in swamping both understanding and
the capability to govern effectively.
the European Parliament has rarely been busier, listing on its database 1,301
"legislative acts" so far, for its 2009-2014 session. That is where
the action is, demonstrating how far the power has drained from Westminster .
of course, was precisely what Hugh Gaitskell predicted in his "thousand
years of history" speech of 1962, with the Westminster parliament being reduced to the
status of a county council.
it has come to pass yet, when it happens, not one journalist reports on the
reason why Parliament has so little to do.
disagree with is the suggestion that the Westminster Parliament is reduced to
the status of a County Council.
only, one thing this blog has been fond of saying that the onetime Counties of
Clackmannan, Rutland, Radnor and Fermanagh had more real authority and power
over the provision of services in the past than does the Westminster Parliament
The equals of the County Councils in this respect were the old County Boroughs, which were the larger cities and some
of those of middling size with a small number of ancient Cities. Under the County Councils were the councils
of the Municipal Boroughs, Urban Districts and
Rural Districts, with in the latter two another level of Parish Council.
alas swept away by Heath’s mad urge to centralize and consolidate in 1973-1974. This was the very man who took us into Europe . Quite
where the Westminster Parliament now stands in relation to any of those would
make an interesting parlour game.
view, as someone around and working back at the time Gaitskell made his
prescient speech, is that the comparison is patchy. There are some things where our Parliament is
little better than a Parish Council, but the bulk look to me to be more like a
badly run Rural District Council.
now a minority of small responsibilities which might rate County or County
Borough Council level, but Europe is well on
course to take those away as well.
local elections next week. One of the
grimmer ironies of all this is that our people at Parliament and on the local
councils are pocketing personally payments and expenses that could have been
only dreamed of in 1962.
up, shut up, and don’t complain or you could get arrested.