Author Archives: Scott Craig

Thirty-seven Americans have the power to change the course of history

 

Today, the US Electoral College will meet in 51 separate locations to decide who will become the next President of the United States. The decision these individual men and women make will determine the outcome of every significant global event for the next decade, if not the next century.

Earlier this year, on 4th August, the Harvard Republican Club issued a press release stating that, for the first time in their one hundred and twenty-eight year history, they would not be endorsing the Republican nominee for president.  The presumptive nominee, they said, was not just unfit to be president but represented, “a threat to the survival of the republic”.

They went on to say that, “His authoritarian tendencies and flirtations with fascism are unparalleled in the history of our democracy.” and that, “He hopes to divide us by race, by class, and by religion, instilling enough fear and anxiety to propel himself to the White House”. This approach, with a little assistance from foreign hackers, has brought him within touching distance of the White House.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , and | 13 Comments

Parliament needs to stand up to the Government on Article 50

Are there any Parliamentarians left in Parliament?  That was the question that kept occurring to me as I watched the submissions to the Supreme Court in the Article 50 case this week.

Don’t get me wrong; I enjoy an interesting court case as much as the next person. The Supreme Court will do an excellent job determining the law, and it has every right to do so. The problem is that it should not have been necessary for the court to consider the matter in the first place.

Parliament alone has the right to determine what the division of power between itself and the executive should be. As it has not acted to overrule the government’s claim that triggering Article 50 is an executive power, Parliament has implicitly accepted that the power is a prerogative. 

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , and | 10 Comments

A great compromise is needed to reunite the United Kingdom

When the American constitutional convention assembled in Philidelphia in 1787 to revise the articles of confederation and create the present US Constitution, it had to find a way of balancing the interests of large states with those of smaller ones.

The problem was that some states wanted the number of congressional representatives to be proportional to the population of a state, while others wanted the number of representatives to be the same for all states. Naturally, each state preferred the plan which would give them a larger say in how the government was run.

After much debate, the impasse was solved by …

Posted in Op-eds | 35 Comments

Safeguarding democracy in an era of mass surveillance

The Investigatory Powers Bill is about to become law. It’s not an exaggeration to say that it represents the most significant transfer of power from people to the state in our lifetime. The bill will allow the surveillance of anyone (and potentially everyone) in the UK, without the need for suspicion of involvement in a crime or evidence of wrongdoing, without the need to target a person or premise and without ever notifying anyone that they have been spied on.

It would be hard to imagine a more terrifying situation for a political party than to know that every communication …

Posted in Op-eds | 10 Comments

Can Parliament vote against Brexit?

Regardless of the cries of the Brexiteers, the answer is simple. It can, if it wants to. Here’s why;

First and foremost Members of Parliament are representatives, they are not delegates. As representatives, they are free to, and it is their duty to, exercise their own judgement. Members cannot be and should never be prevented from exercising their conscience in casting their votes.

This duty applies in even greater measure to Peers. As (self-proclaimed) trustees of the nation, they must be willing to take decisions counter to the public mood when they consider it to be in the national interest. I cannot …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 114 Comments
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