By Tony Wright
Electorate and matters is an essay at the nature and situation of democracy in Britain on the finish of the 20 th century. It seems on the usually held view that Britain is a version democracy, exposing it as a perilous fantasy that inhibits either radical notion and real constitutional switch. The ebook seems on the culture of political and constitutional notion in Britain and at modern political truth, revealing a large gulf among the 2. Dr Wright, a revered instructor and educational lately elected a Labour MP, considers Britain's really acute kind of a common challenge of recent executive. whereas the state thinks of itself as a liberal democracy, its liberalism was once in truth in position good ahead of democracy got here onto the time table. From the outset, democracy was once visible as an issue through either conservatives and liberals. Constitutional matters have re-emerged at the political schedule lately. Dr Wright discusses the potential through which we'd movement in the direction of a pluralistic, open and participatory democracy; he additionally argues, even if, that functional reforms usually are not attainable until they're associated with a brand new culture of radical constitutional notion.
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Additional info for Citizens and Subjects: An Essay on British Politics
They may decide that businessmen should run the universities and the schools and the health services. They may decide to change the way in which official statistics are collected and presented, and to control the way in which research for government departments is reported. They may decide to create ever larger spaces in parliamentary bills to be filled by their discretionary powers. They may lubricate the whole system with a generosity of patronage unequalled, in the case of the Thatcher government, since Lloyd George’s sale of the century.
The recent period is the more revealing precisely because it was heralded as the period when the deplorable ‘growth in government over the last quarter of a century’ (in the words of the 1979 Conservative manifesto) would be hauled in and disciplined. Instead, it has served to throw the essential character of a system into sharp relief, which no subsequent softening should be allowed to obscure. It finds its real expression and epitaph in that ministerial directive to ‘silence Mr Guy’. 5 Doubts and discontents Democracy has itself by the tail and is eating itself up fast.
They may decide to abolish a level of local government, abolish the government of London, and take sweeping powers to curb and control the rest of the local government system. They may decide to kick out those members of health authorities not palatable to their political taste and replace them from the centre with their own appointees. They may decide that trade unionists who want to strike must hold a ballot, but that trusts who want to opt out of the local health service should not. They may decide to strip local education authorities of their powers, and they may decide what kind of history should be taught in schools.
Citizens and Subjects: An Essay on British Politics by Tony Wright