Wednesday, 29 April 2009

We need Constitutional Reform

It is nice to read in today's business DT that HMT is 'to fight for hedge funds against Europe'. Well with friends like that who needs enemies? One well placed source said: "HMT is being asked to intervene as this is emerging as a classic EU stitch up". Well you read it here first! Not surprisingly Barroso and Christine Lagarden are 'not happy' with the directive to regulate hedge funds which they think does not go far enough. Well nothing new there then but I know who will win this battle.

The hedge fund leaders in London are quoted as saying this reform of hedge fund regulation has been hijacked by 'opportunistic politicians'. It was ever thus. I don't know the answer to getting rid of opprtunistic politicians but it seems obvious you can reduce their effect and influence by reducing their numbers. As John Major once said he did not know the answer but it certainly was not to increase the number of politicians.

We already have far to many politicians, MPs, MEPs, Lords, County Councillors, District Councillors, MSPs, MWPs all with their snouts in the trough. I wrote once to the Labour MP Dennis Mc Shane about reducing the number of MPs to roughly the US level and in fact going for a US Senate type elected upper house. I got a reply, which in itself was a surprise, and which was not entirely negative. When I heard David Starkey saying much the same thing last week on Question Time I thought this idea has legs.

We could have an elected Senate on a county basis in England, roughly 70 English senators plus 14 from Scotland and 8 each from Wales and Northern Ireland. There should be around 300 MPs with constituency boundaries done mathematiacally to minimise the maximum difference between the smallest and the largest. There would be a fixed 4 year term in the lower house and a 6 year term in the upper house with one third of all senators elected every 2 years.

We should have an elected president for a 4 year term who would appoint his ministers on talent who would not be MPs but would be subject to US type confirmation hearings as would all quango jobs, even the Governor of the Bank of England. As in the USA the president and his executive would propose and the parliamentary chambers dispose. It would give our MPs something to do if nothing else.

Finally I would enshine the right to have a binding referendum nationally, or in any region county, constituency or parish where a petition is presented demanding one signed by 5% or the electorate. If we go on with the same old crooked system we will just change the crooks at the top.

The only problem with what I propose is where would the Queen fit in? Well where will she fit in too the new EU state with an elected president? Answer, she wont.

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