Lord Willoughby de Broke urges Constitutional Reform to correct delusions of grandeur and to save British freedom
In the Daily Mail and the Irish Times, Robbie the Pict bluntly wrote -
Individual rights to privacy and freedoms are being fatally undermined by the European Union.This has been well documented, and it has not escaped the notice of the British people.
But what can be done? In the House of Lords Lord Willoughby de Broke proposes a Constitutional Reform Bill.
Delusions of grandeur
One delusion of grandeur entertained by the British Parliament is that the MPs and Lords mean anything substantial when they have given away almost all their power to the European Union.
Consequently Lord Willoughby de Broke's first line of attack is the United Kingdom's relationship with the EU. His Constitutional Reform Bill, which had its first reading in the House of Lords in June, would repeal the European Communities Act of 1972 and take the United Kingdom out the EU. His bill would also repeal the so-called "Human Rights Act" 1998.
When not having their moats cleaned or selling second homes at our expense, MPs are busy incorporating EU edicts into British law and, when time allows, adding their own chaotic new regulations. That this is their job, and that their country would expire without these pernicious new laws, is another of their delusions.
Given the impractical, corrupt (how corrupt we have lately seen) and tyrannical tendencies of the bodies occupying the green benches, de Broke has wisely established a limit to the total number of days the House of Commons can get into trouble in any calendar year.
In his bill, the number is not to exceed 100, save for extraordinary sittings convened by the Speaker.
Another common delusion is that MPs ought to be splendidly compensated for leading their country to wrack and ruin. With so many in the private sector watching jobs and income disappear, de Broke proposes to pay MPs £30,000 annually. Given the quality of most of the work performed, it is a princely sum.
There are MPs who represent their constituents with wisdom and honour. We would like to see a selection system on the party level that increases their numbers and reduces the power of the whips. In fact, we would like to see a whole new political party.
Responsibility and power where it belongs - with local authorities
Local towns fought for their liberties in England a thousand years ago. In the last three decades, local governments have lost many rights, and national government has proved a greedy collector of taxes and an inefficient provider of services. De Broke's bill returns power and money to local government where practical decisions can be made and local people can be sure that services are efficiently provided and paid for.
Reining in the Prime Minister - Britain cannot go to war without Parliament's approval
De Broke's Constitutional Reform bill forbids a Prime Minister taking the United Kingdom into war without Parliament's approval or entering into international treaties without Parliament's assent. We can only hope that Commons and Lords will find the subject of war, which places their constituents in the line of fire, worthy of discussion in future.
House of Lords
According to Parliament's website, The House of Lords makes laws, holds the Government to account, provides a forum of independent expertise and is the highest court in the land.
Fine words. Lord Willoughby de Broke's bill is an attempt to make them true.
His bill includes a national referendum to reform the House of Lords. Options will include abolition.