Parliament is the basis of our government

Parliament makes our laws and holds the government to account. Local and regional government, including the Scottish parliament, get their powers from Westminster and Westminster could reform or abolish them. Therefore we need to ensure Westminster functions properly.

What’s wrong with Parliament?

I have written before about the need for a constitution but there are some things I did not mention about the way parliament itself operates. The prime minister and others get away with giving evasive or untrue answers when members question them. The Speaker will order a member to leave the chamber immediately if they call someone a liar, but the Speaker will not challenge the liar.

Compare this with the courts

A process exists to ensure a witness tells the truth.

  • If you refuse to answer a question, the judge can rule you are in contempt of court.
  • If you give an evasive answer, the judge can direct you to give a straightforward answer.
  • If you lie in court, it is a crime called perjury.
  • If you mislead the court you may be guilty of perverting the course of justice.

Would it be impossible to introduce a similar arrangement in parliament: one that does not take a year or cost a fortune?

Whose side is parliament on?

In the 17th century, parliament defied kings on behalf of the people to defend our rights and to deny anyone absolute authority. Nowadays the government seems to be able to do what kings tried to do. I don’t want another civil war, but I do want reform.

My novel Blood and Secrets is a whodunit and a swashbuckler, not a political treatise, but you will find some mentions of the reasons for the conflict between the king and parliament.

The cover of Blood and Secrets. The story is set against the background of the war between parliament and the king.

The story is set against the background of the war between parliament and the king.