Steerpike Steerpike

Miliband’s carnival of constitutional tinkering

There is a certain irony in the fact that Miliband is protecting his party’s Scottish advantage by accusing the Prime Minister of allowing ‘this moment to be used for narrow party political advantage’. Rejecting Cameron’s plans for English votes for English laws, Labour have rushed out plans for ‘a full Constitutional Convention rooted in our nations and regions, to address the need for further devolution in England and political reform of Westminster.’ Form an orderly queue.

Labour happily admit that this carnival of constitutional tinkering could drag on for well over a year:
‘In the coming weeks Labour will set out how this should begin before the next election with every nation and region in the country engaged in a dialogue with the people about how power needs to be dispersed, not just in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, but in England too.’

For some context, Mr S would like to remind you that that the joyous convention that produced the US constitution in 1787 took only four months. In 1998, the Australians managed to hold a convention on the future of the Monarchy that took all of ten days.

Nobel Ed claims that all this jazz is far too important to be left in the hands of  representatives elected by the people in order to make such tough decisions. Which makes one wonder why he is arguing that we should create a new Senate? Presumably such a plan would involve creating loads more new pointless politicians who cannot be trusted to make big decisions?

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Steerpike is The Spectator's gossip columnist, serving up the latest tittle tattle from Westminster and beyond. Email tips to or message @MrSteerpike

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