6th June 2021
This is just a short post today – more of a signpost – to point you towards an interesting and thought-provoking post by Hannah White at the Institute of Government.
Her post brings together various examples of the contempt in which the current prime minister holds a range of rule-based regimes – showing that for Boris Johnson, to echo Leona Helmsley’s supposed words, rules appear to be for little people.
There are, of course, a number of problems with the prime minister’s approach.
For example, a great deal of the constitution of the United Kingdom is based on self-restraint and convention – and, although many prime ministers have breached constitutional norms, none have done so as openly and unapologetically as the current prime minister.
Another problem is that – especially at the time of this pandemic and also as the United Kingdom adjusts to its post-Brexit future – there will be a need for various rules to be followed as well as made.
And it is difficult to insist on others keeping to the rules when the head of the government himself sees compliance with rules as, at best, optional.
And perhaps the biggest problem is that there is a sense of checks and balances simply not mattering any more – a further move towards a central command polity.
Of course, in our present day hyper partisan political culture, few will care about such things.
The constitution of the United Kingdom is now, essentially, whatever Boris Johnson can get away with.
This blog enjoys a high standard of comments, many of which are better and more interesting than the posts.
Comments are welcome, but they are pre-moderated.
Comments will not be published if irksome.