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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The House of Lords can oppose them, sometimes successfully; the House of Commons can rarely succeed against a majority government. Ian Dunt walks the reader through, issue by issue, place by place, step by step, in an informative, engaging way that is genuinely hard to find in political works. The first step to implement these reforms is to commit ourselves to the ideas that inform them… it might currently feel hopeless, but it isn’t. This is an absolutely excoriating insight into the failures - both intentionally designed and through institutional sloth - of the UK's political system.

Special Advisors have the potential to work well, but can often have their own agendas or be just an outpost of Number 10 in a minister’s private office (as was done under Johnson and Cummings).However, Dunt argues that they have long had the potential to wield more power than leaders in many other countries because Britain’s first-past-the-post election system enables them to gain substantial majorities unlike states with Proportional Representational (PR) systems in which coalition governments are frequent, leading to compromise decisions rather than authoritarian power. The House of Commons should control its own timetable, with a Business of the House Committee to agree a fortnightly agenda and put it to a free vote. If no one party has absolute power then all parties need to co-operate with each other, and that makes for better government. In this seminar the author will presented some of his key arguments, before responding to questions and comments from a panel of experts and the online audience. But, contrary to widespread belief, ministers are rarely held to account for failed policies, such as the probation reform, but rather for failing to observe government policies.

Such powers are rare in most other countries: in coalitions, ministerial appointments are normally part of coalition agreements.

Not all is bad in Westminster - the standing committee system works well and encourages cooperation across parties, with chairs being elected by the committees themselves and thus serving more as moderators and consensus builders with genuine interests in the subject matter. It was approved by the Treasury and required no new legislation, so there was no parliamentary debate, and it was largely ignored in the media, apart from the Guardian which made a sustained assessment of its effects. As Dunt describes, Harold Wilson in his 1964–1970 government was anxious to improve government expertise to match and advance the technical and technological skills of the modern world, to assist his aim to develop the “white heat of technology” through his new Ministry of Technology, and to revive the flagging British economy. The coalition for proportional representation would be a one-off event, a movement not a political party.

Scotland, by contrast, since devolution has developed effective scrutiny at the committee stage by a committee of expert MSPs. Sir Michael Caine knows a thing or two about gangs: whether that’s joining one as a kid, or playing them in movies for over 50 years. Here Ian puts forward sensible, workable solutions to the clear and obvious failures of our political system. The Greatest Secret, the long-awaited major work by Rhonda Byrne, lays out the next quantum leap in a journey that will take the listener beyond the material world and into the spiritual realm, where all possibilities exist. Parliament, parties, the media, the civil service and the law are all shatteringly exposed as rusted vehicles of inactivity, where long-term thinking is a dirty idea.Nor is it dry and dull, but lively and entertaining, whilst being absolutely rage-inducing at the same time (or maybe that last part is just me! It protects the public from some ministerial failings, but many get past it, including the privatization of probation, while some good policies do not.

Unless there is an urgent need for speed, legislation should receive more scrutiny, starting with a Green Paper explaining it in full. Eliminate negativity and change your life with best-selling author, happiness expert and life coach Domonique Bertolucci. They were obvious targets for the Taliban and yet, through inaction and incompetence at the Foreign Office, we evacuated only 483.Then, Thatcher rejected criticism of government policies and regarded all public service professionals as self-satisfied, inward looking, and out of touch with modern needs. I follow Ian Dunt on social media and now he has strong opinions but if anyone is worried that his personal feelings on the subject will be pushed in this book or make the book partisan, they need not worry. Everything from our electoral system to our way of governing and debating and voting – it’s all set up to be a fight. Thereafter, under Conservative governments to the present, specialist accountants, digital and data experts and project managers were appointed from outside while most civil servants remained essentially generalist. Ian Dunt is a British political journalist, broadcaster and the author of books including How To Be A Liberal and How Westminster Works…and Why It Doesn’t.



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