Why we need a constitution

We need a constitution because our fascinating mixture of principles, conventions, statutes, caselaw and pragmatism.....

1.  Is difficult to research, let alone understand and apply. it offers wonderful opportunities to scholars and creative lawyers but little certainty for the ordinary person (or uncreative lawyer like me).

2.  Is has failed to prevent our country from colonising large parts of the world, fighting unjust wars and exporting deadly products (arms) without even votes in parliament let alone referendums of the people.

3. It has failed to provide any mechanism to prevent governments or Parliament from infringing the basic rights and freedoms of the people of the [UK].


Tagged users
edited on Apr 18, 2015 by Ian Smith

Ian Smith Apr 5, 2015

Dear All,

I am posting a quick comment here and in my other ideas.

Firstly, I want to say how much I have enjoyed seeing all of your contributions on this and other ideas and how impressed I am with the range of expertise and erudition which has filled these debates.

Secondly, I wish to put forward a couple of suggestions as to a way forward at this stage.  They are:

A.   I suggest that we all refrain from further voting until the ideas have been refined and represented and have then been debated for a while.  My thinking here is that we will want to see the reshaped ideas and see the comments on those refined ideas before we decide whether they are to be voted up or down,  I do not think that we should refrain from voting on comments but perhaps try not to vote too hastily on them.

B.  Now that the hurly burly of the "Hacking" phase (some of it quite savage) has passed, I hope and wish that we will adopt a more collaborative and less combative approach in our commentary, so that commentary is given a chance to be constructive and really do the job of refining the ideas in question.

C.  I would hope that we can refrain from attacking the very existence of the idea under discussion in this phase or the fact that it has successfully gone through to this phase against the wishes of those who voted it down.  I sincerely hope that the previous critics of an idea, will still respect that it found favour with the crowd and now help to refine the idea in this phase.

Thirdly, I will try my best not to introduce any more typos and mangled phrases! 

Best wishes for the holiday weekend!


Andrew Bulovsky Apr 14, 2015

With only one week remaining in the refining stage, the facilitators will draft some language for this idea. We'll do everything we can to redraft the original submission in line with your comments and suggestions. If the original poster would like to take over the idea they are more than welcome to at any point. Please do comment to offer suggestions on specific wording and to guide us on which suggestions should take priority (by voting them up/down).

Perhaps this language could be in the beginning of the Constitution to briefly explain why it is needed:

"This Constitution aims to ensure that vital and fundamental rights are enshrined, that they will be delineated here to enhance the functioning of British society so that it may more adequately engage with the world."

This is definitely incomplete, but I don't want to draft too much and frame the discussion in a particular direction. I'd love to see amendments from everyone! Please bold your comments and post below!

JimF Apr 18, 2015

Can we not add another clause along the lines of:

3. It has failed to provide any mechanism to prevent governments or Parliament from infringing the basic rights and freedoms of the population.