Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Fixed Parliaments?

With the Lib Dems enthusiasm for fixed parliaments (click to enlarge)

Nick Clegg: "Fixed term parliaments will have a profound effect" - Mon, 13 Sep 2010

“Establishing parliaments of fixed-terms is a straightforward, but fundamental, change in our politics. It is a simple constitutional innovation, but one that will have a profound effect.”

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has pledged the introduction of a five year fixed term parliaments will have a “profound effect” and lead to greater stability in the political system.
One wonders whether they think it's still a good idea now. As the saying goes; be careful what you wish for:

David Cameron's former communications chief, Andy Coulson, has been detained on suspicion of committing perjury during the trial of former MSP Tommy Sheridan.
The 44-year-old was detained in London this morning by officers from Strathclyde Police.
Mr Coulson gave evidence in December 2010 at Sheridan's perjury trial at the High Court in Glasgow.


  1. Yet more 'look the other' way rhetoric whilst Cleggs real employer, the European Union, thrashes around in what I hope are it's death throes.

    Ken Clarke, Clegg, Cameron and Milliput all on the same side which is why politics in this country has become a zombie
    Zombie A soulless corpse said to be revived by witchcraft,

  2. Like Blair's many constitutional barbarisms, the fixed term was bought in without any great public demand or debate.
    One could make a reasonable assumption that it was simply the political class trying to make its careers more stable and predictable.

    It will however have an interesting effect on the election to the EU Parliament which will now be a completely separate affair. It cannot now be shoved together with a general election and so will become much more like a referendum on EU membership.

    Provided it does not lurch into one of its usual spasms of in-fighting and greater than usual incompetence, this is an enormous opportunity for UKIP.

    Many active Conservatives are not averse to "lending" their vote to UKIP to let Mr. Cameron know what they think about his undelivered "cast iron guarantee" of a referendum.

    On the other hand, Mr Cameron could decide to lance the boil of Conservative euroscepticism by having a rigged referendum on EU membership at the same time - for instance offering a three way choice of In - Renegotiation (a fraud)- Out. With the combined forces of the main parties plus the BBC etc, it is unlikely that an Out decision would be reached.

  3. @William re the European Union and Cleggy as I noted 'be careful what you wish for' also applies. I hope it is in its death throes though I suspect it will be a very long and lingering death.

    @Edward Spalton Agreed, though in truth it's a bit of a red herring. We don't really have a fixed term as such - mainly because any government with a majority (oops Cameron) can simply repeal the act as and when they like.

    I'm actually coming to the conclusion that Cameron is so without a backbone that he can't even bring himself to take the gamble of a rigged referendum lest it still go 'wrong'.

  4. The quislings who sold out to the EU might be in a spot of bother when it goes pear-shaped.