Simple, beautiful and elegant, because less really is more.

Having a large number of people agree on a form of words for how we treat one another in Britain strikes me as being a ferociously difficult undertaking that is likely to founder under the weight of its ambition.

So my proposal is that our constitution, if we have one, be as brief and as all-encompassing as possible, and expressed in language that is simple enough for everyone to understand, elegant and poetic.   The ambition should not be a great document that expands and adds clause after clause, but to boil the whole thing down to a set of principles and ideals so unambiguous as to be able to find their application in any situation.

What we really need is a committee of Churchill, Lennon and McCartney, Shakespeare, John Betjeman, and Christopher Hitchens locked in a room for a year with a demand that they come up with a poem that can also be a song that perfectly expresses the founding principles that we hope to live by.

Churchill -

"We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give."
"If you have ten thousand regulations you destroy all respect for the law."

Lennon/McCartney -
"Money can't buy you love"
"And the world will live as one"

Christopher Hitchens-
"One aspires to conquests made by ideas and values, not nations.” 

Shakespeare -

"The play's the thing wherein I'll catch the conscience of the king"
(Stories are universal currency between human beings.)

"The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool"

John Betjeman
"Too many people in the modern world view poetry as a luxury, not a necessity like petrol. But to me it's the oil of life."

The constitution, should we have one, should be a thing of beauty, and we surely have the talent and the language which can create it.

But by poets, please.  Not by lawyers looking to make work for more lawyers in the future with language only they claim to be able to interpret.  

The US constitution has its moments of poetry - 

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal... with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Something along those lines... only better expressed.


Salka Margrét Sigurðardóttir Apr 14, 2015

SamSeal, I just wanted to let you know that unfortunately a clause about the style of writing does is not fitting as a provision in the Constitution and can therefore not move to the next stage of the project. We will, however, take this suggestion under consideration when the final document will be written and the wording will be amended. I assure you that at the Constitutional convention this will be kept in mind. Thank you for your participation. 

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