The above image is of the 1988 TV drama “A Very British Coup” based on the 1982 novel by Chris Mullin. Set in the era of the 1980s it portrayed a radical socialist government undermined by the capitalist establishment and MI5. Now in 2010 we have a very different situation but this time we actually have witnessed a coup d’état by Cameron and Clegg.Is the British Gazette overreacting you ask?
Judge for yourselves:
Legislation to be introduced setting a fixed term of five years for the forthcoming parliament with a 55% majority vote in the Commons to trigger a dissolution. The British constitutional practice since the formation of the Commons as a separate chamber in 1341 has been that the Commons could be dissolved by a majority of just one – this is the reason why the TV journalists on election night were often referring to the “magic number” of 326. There is nothing “magic” about it. It is simple arithmetic: 650/2 = 325 + 1 = 326.
Now the “magic number” has been increased to 650 x 0.55 = 357.5 or 358.
Furthermore to ensure the new junta can get its way through the Lords TWO HUNDRED peers are going to be created.
Furthermore the House of Lords is going to have elected peers but these will be elected for a term of FIFTEEN YEARS!
The illegitimacy of this new regime lies in its plans to tamper with the rights and privileges of Parliament as it as the government are the Queen’s ministers and therefore act in the name of the sovereign. Thus it is the sovereign attempting to limit the power of the elected Commons and to restrain them. This is unacceptable and is once again a breach of the Declaration/Bill of Rights of 1688/1689 and the Coronation Oath of June 1953.
Of course, both parties (Conservatives and Liberal-Democrats, successors to the Liberal party) have “form” on breaching the British constitution so we should not be very surprised.
Several commentators however have sought to criticise the new junta for cobbling together a coalition and are attacking each party as “betraying the wishes of those who voted for it.” This criticism cannot be applied equally to these two parties however. In this, the Liberal Democrats can justifiably plead, Not Guilty. Why you ask. Simple. The Liberal Democrats have ever since their formation campaigned for Proportional Representation – or “Fair Votes” as they like to term it. Any voter who supports a political party advocating ANY form of proportional representation MUST realise that an INEVITABLE consequence of ANY form of proportional representation will ALWAYS – save in the most extreme circumstances – result in coalition government. Therefore ANY Liberal Democrat who objects to what Monsieur Le Clegg has done is completely and utterly naïve!
NB: As an advocate of Proportional Representation, the British Gazette clearly cannot object to coalition government per se, but does insist that such coalition government MUST be LAWFUL.