How Westminster Works . . . and Why It Doesn't

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How Westminster Works . . . and Why It Doesn't

How Westminster Works . . . and Why It Doesn't

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Its actions are normally cautious because the House of Commons could overhaul it, and there are limits to its powers: it can’t kill a bill, just delay it for one session.

How Westminster Works and Why It Doesn't is essential reading, detailing the paranoiac, schizophrenic lurching about of a system designed to make most votes for its winner irrelevant. But more important is change to the voting system, which is at the heart of Westminster’s weakness, since first-past-the-post ignores the preferences of the majority of voters and eliminates the need for compromise which is central to the coalition governments resulting from PR voting, encouraging better government and longer-term thinking. Then, as the second chapter explains, once in parliament MPs are strictly controlled by their parties, especially though the aptly named whips, who apparently even tell them what to say in their maiden speeches. This book is simply the best explanation I have ever read on the workings and stallings of British Government. Also, unlike many other countries in Europe and elsewhere, there is little devolution of powers to regions in England.Dunt rightly regrets the near demise of local newspapers which did discuss the impact of polices in their areas. Running through society like a syphilitic canker, our governments policies are costing lives, patently ruining the economy and undermining the rule of law. In the absolutely packed Act II, the dark fantasy resumes and the Sandman expands into the French Revolution, ancient Rome, 19th-century San Francisco, eighth-century Baghdad, and beyond.

Most civil servants were graduates in humanities and lacked knowledge of economics, engineering, sciences, and other fields judged essential to achieve modernization. A blistering account of the irrationality and sheer absurdity of Britain's dysfunctional political system. No 10’s control of special advisors must end and they should be appointed on the basis of expertise alone.Generally, there is inadequate parliamentary scrutiny for anything the government does, as it controls the timetable and flow of the House of Commons business. The book advances from there to talk about government institutions from ministries, the civil service and through those that deal with the journey of a bill which eventually becomes legislation. Some of his criticisms are a little harsh, particularly on civil service expertise, but he poses solid alternatives and fixes alongside his analysis and there are really shocking exposés in here on the lack of real checks on the legislative process. It is easy to stir up righteous anger, but Dunt does something far more useful in performing a detailed analysis of why none of this nonsense was stopped before it got started. But he does not mention that a UK referendum on PR was held in 2011, as part of the agreement to form the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition.

The policy was wrong as it mismatched the incentives of private agencies with the functioning of the justice system, resulting in an increase in serious offences. Dunt stresses how exhausting and time-consuming is the work of MPs, their difficulties in achieving work-life balance. He describes how they were created in 1979 by an independent-minded Conservative, Norman St John-Stevas—soon sacked by Thatcher because too independent—precisely to challenge prime ministerial control of the House of Commons. Britain owed a moral duty to the 75,000-150,000 Afghans who worked for the UK government or who supported UK objectives, such as judges, journalists and women’s rights activists. This combined with a slow “drip-feed” of crossbench experts has ensured that no party has since held overall control, despite Boris Johnson’s best efforts.Anyone who reads Ian’s Twitter output will be aware that he has his own very strong and critical political views. Dunt rightly points out that, certainly since Blair was PM in the 2000s, party leaders have controlled local selections to curb backbench challenges. Listen in as she takes six different people on a career change journey to help them figure out what work they would really love to do and create a plan of how to make that career change happen. Considering we pride ourselves on being the oldest Democracy in the World, it is surprising how undemocratic Westminster actual is!

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