Blair's poor legacy 2

September 8, 2006

Vernon Bogdanor's expressions "constitutional reform" and "radical programme of constitutional change" are too polite. Abuse of the UK Constitution is surely a more apt description? We still have the same voting system for UK-wide elections (the Jenkins report of 1998 having been dumped), the postal ballot is unreliable and the House of Lords now suffers from careless changes (the self-elected hereditaries, for example, plus a raft of new if debatable life peers). There are new departments of state set up to little effect, a brilliant civil service bypassed by an arbitrary appointment of advisers and limited "semi-independence" for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. In England, government at any level is a mess, with some elected mayors and a failed attempt at "semi-independence" via regionalisation.

John Preston

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