Dugdale’s Labour solution to a constitutional mess

Duncan Hothersall  |  7 December 2016

Despite Scottish Labour being in a seriously tough place in the polls it has been heartening for many members to see our campaigning spirit undimmed in recent months, and after a strong campaign pointing out Scottish National party failures on the National Health Service we have been breaking through more recently on their poor record …

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The nightmare scenario

Andrew Harrop  |  22 October 2015

‘English Votes for English Laws’ has always been seen within Labour ranks as a cynical, partisan Tory ploy. In origin it was, of course: one part of a gerrymanderer’s charter that includes boundary changes, individual electoral registration and extending the overseas franchise. But here’s the thing. EVEL no longer really offers the Conservatives an advantage …

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Privy to the privy council

Jacqui Smith  |  22 September 2015

Despite some public misgivings, Jeremy Corbyn has followed in the footsteps of other leaders of the opposition and joined the privy council. I suspect he will not be quite as excited about the swearing in ceremony as I was. My enthusiasm in kissing the Queen’s hand resulted in a smacker which echoed around the room. …

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This is what democracy should always be like

Katie Ghose  |  18 September 2014

The amount of interest, passion and debate sparked in Scotland by the independence referendum has been completely unprecedented. For those of us who believe that politics should be a part of everyone’s lives (and that voter disengagement threatens to undermine the future of our democracy) it has been wonderful to behold. In an ideal world, …

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The Contemporary House of Lords

Dianne Hayter  |  28 August 2013

Nick Clegg should have read this book before embarking on his ill-fated 2012 proposals. Indeed, it should be on David Cameron and Ed Miliband’s reading list, and on those of serious commentators and students of parliament as well as the new batch of peers. (Just as Charles II created peers to boost his support in …

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A Festschrift for Vernon Bogdanor

David Green  |  14 August 2013

I had to look up the word ‘Festschrift’ when I received this volume: it is a work which honours a distinguished academic, drawing contributions from colleagues on the matter of their expertise. Vernon Bogdanor is undeniably the foremost constitutional scholar of his generation, and his Festschrift draws on an enviable cast to discuss this topic. …

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Cardiff Bay watch

Adam Harrison and Robert Philpot  |  1 March 2013

Wales is adopting a more pragmatic, gentler approach to austerity than London, Carwyn Jones tells Robert Philpot and Adam Harrison DURING his decade as first minister, Rhodri Morgan trumpeted the ‘clear red water’ Wales had established between itself and the Labour government at Westminster. There would be no top-up fees, prescription charges, foundation hospitals or …

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A century of non-reform

Bob Hughes  |  18 December 2012

The House of Lords 1911-2011, A Century of Non-Reform, Chris Ballinger For those who define and equate reform with an elected House of Lords, so that this is their holy grail, this book will make grim reading.  Well researched, it is no dry academic treatise, but provides real insight into how and why all attempts at fundamental …

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Reform now

Despite events in parliament this year, reform of the House of Lords must not fall off the political agenda. Reform is still required but we need to carefully rethink how it proceeds and what form it takes. We should not assume that the only option is a quick fix of electing one percentage or another, …

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A century-old ‘interim measure’

Nick Thomas-Symonds MP  |  6 September 2012

The preamble to the Parliament Act of 1911 described it as an ‘interim measure’ until such times as the second chamber could be constituted on popular basis rather than the hereditary basis. The act’s major change to the power of the House of Lords, to a delaying, rather than an absolute, veto, remains in place, …

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