And for fun – I really enjoyed writing this blog for work this week…
Constitutional conundrums resolved?
We are hearing rumours that the UK Government has been in closed door discussions with the devolved administrations to try and reach a compromise situation that might resolve the various constitutional wranglings that haunt British democracy.
From the West Lothian Question to a separate Welsh legal system, ongoing murmurings about an English Parliament to Cornish independence, it seems that the powers that be have decided enough is enough and a solution must be found.
Several options are under consideration, all of which recognise that the Houses of Parliament at Westminster are somewhat intimidating to many members of the public, and that they have a tainted history – from Guy Fawkes to the recent ‘cash for influence’ scandal. Influential voices are therefore pushing for the closure of the Houses of Parliament (to be re-opened as a museum of democracy) and for MPs to meet at another location in the UK.
We understand that the favoured option is to refurbish the abandoned GoodYear tyre factory in Washington, Tyne and Wear, with a suggested name of ‘The White House’.
Other possibilities include transforming an abandoned shopping centre outside Reading into the new parliamentary facility. It has previously been used for a Zombie Shopping Mall Experience.
Manchester is also throwing its hat into the ring, offering to create a state of the art building out of Spinningfields car park.
To ensure that the general public feel ‘ownership’ of the new Parliament, officials are in discussion with Channel 4’s George Clarke, host of ‘The Restoration Man’ to develop a documentary television programme where George visits each site, discusses the architectural and practical possibilities, and speaks with a site champion as to why their favoured option should be preferred. The series will culminate with a live phone, text and twitter vote deciding the final choice, hashtag #movethehouse.
Katie Ghose, Chief Executive of the Electoral Reform Society said:
“We welcome this concerted joint effort to resolve the UK’s constitutional conundrums. It is exciting to hear that such a novel approach is being taken to help reconnect people with politics.”
Any initiative that seeks to bring democracy closer to the people and improve participatory politics deserves fulsome praise”