The UK’s useless ‘constitution’

This, I have shamelessly lifted from the twitter feed of Michael Dougan, Professor of European Law, University of Liverpool and Joint Editor of the Common Market Law Review, because I so agree with what he says – even if I have never been cautious about constitutional reform – Britain has been crying out for it for ages (and Blair fudged it):

I used to be relatively cautious about need for major constitutional reform. But as [the] existing system falls apart under pressure from unprincipled, power-greedy charlatans, we see [the] full dangers of [an] unwritten constitution that relies on shared values, good faith and self-restraint…

… so I’m increasingly converted to [the] need for full-scale revision of UK fundamentals: written constitution, no more First Past The Post, proper separation of powers, effective checks and balances, protected basic rights of citizens, protected powers of national and regional governments…

… especially since Brexit has now taken way, or at least seriously weakened, many of the basic safeguards EU membership once provided for a whole range of our political, civil, social and economic rights. We are now sitting ducks for a government willing to abuse its power…

… I always cringed at someone cooing over “genius of the English constitution”: complacent and exceptionalist. We know now: UK populists are no different from [those] in US, Brazil etc. Only exceptional thing about here? Our almost total lack of constitutional protection against them.

ps, goes without saying: a reformed UK also as a member of the EU once again… and without prejudice to the right of the people of Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland to decide on a different future for themselves outside the UK (though preferably still inside the EU!)

Johnson is actually due in Scotland today – it would be delightful if people would give him the welcome he so richly deserves.

And Johnson may have to hope that there is always a suitable walk-in fridge nearby…