We recently opined that Brits can regain their liberties only by a Thatcher-style houseclean of their Parliament; or by a more radical velvet revolution creating a new constitution; or by a civil war that does all of the above and kills or exiles the ruling elite.
The Thatcher option sadly now seems very unlikely.
That’s because reforming the Brit government needs more than a single charismatic leader – without respect for the constitution from We The People, plus competent supporters in Parliament, and an honest and competent civil service, nothing will get done.
We’ve been visiting the UK the last few days, and find We The People are sick to death of their Parliament. A current hot button is an expenses scam:
MPs can claim for items on the list under the £22,000-a-year additional costs allowance for maintaining a second home in London near to Parliament in addition to their constituency residence.
The allowance is controversial as some MPs run a second home even though their constituencies are relatively close to Westminster…
Privately, many MPs admit they use Parliament’s generous system of perks and allowances to supplement an income which they regard as below the going rate for senior professionals.
That might be OK if these folks really were senior professionals, but they’re not – many are petty crooks.
And they’re useless – one of the big changes since Mrs T’s time is the rise of the professional pol with zero experiences to bring to government. Here’s the resume of the woman who banned the Israeli lawmaker from the UK (my ellipsis):
(She studied) for a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy, Politics and Economics… (then) did a Postgraduate Certificate in Education…
(Next) she taught Economics at…(a) High School…followed by a post at (a) Sixth Form College before becoming Head of Economics and GNVQ Co-ordinator at (another) High School…in 1990.
She was elected MP for Redditch at the 1997 general election…
(She) was appointed Home Secretary in Gordon Brown‘s first Cabinet reshuffle of 28 June 2007.
She’s spent her life working for the state and her experience of administration is limited to co-ordinating a High School program. That makes her the least experienced holder of this post in modern history – there’s a list here. It includes Winston Churchill.
She’s not unusual:
Fewer than 10 out of 350 Labour MPs have ever run a business.
MPs from the other parties are similarly hopeless – here’s the Tory leader:
Cameron studied at the University of Oxford, where he read for a BA in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics…After graduation, Cameron worked for the Conservative Research Department between 1988 and 1992…
(In 1992) Cameron was rewarded with a promotion to Special Advisor to the Chancellor of the Exchequer
In July 1994, Cameron left his role as Special Adviser to work as the Director of Corporate Affairs at (a TV company)…Cameron resigned as Director of Corporate Affairs in February 2001 in order to fight for election to Parliament (which he won in 2001).
This resume is as un-Churchillian as the Labour woman’s and with a few exceptions the rest of the Tory MPs are equally weak.
The Liberal Democrats are state-bred to a man/woman.
So even if a Mrs T were to emerge, she’d have to rely on a bunch of ex-teachers, coordinators, and directors of Corporate Affairs.
If, by a miracle, she did find a team capable of fighting its way out of the UK’s looming food, energy, and economic crises, and dumping the EU, that team would have to rely on a civil service to execute its plans.
But the civil service is incompetent -repeatedly losing sensitive data, sinking the financial sector with retrospective taxes, presiding over a massive decline in education and a massive increase in hospital infections, and consistently procuring lousy equipment for the military.
As a tiny example, when we arrived at a London airport, a large sign saying UK Border was displayed behind the immigration officers – possibly to convince illegal immigrants they weren’t actually in the UK until they’d cleared immigration.
But that’s not true – you’re in the UK as soon as you land.
For example, Brit cops planned to arrest an Israeli general on a El Al plane docked at a Heathrow jetway (Brit terrorists had issued a warrant). That’s way outside the new UK Border, and the cops only backed off when it became clear that the El Al guards would whack the lot of them.
With change within the existing constitution improbable, we’ll look next at the prospects of a Velvet Revolution creating a new one.