Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Support grows for fixed terms

I have already made clear my own view that it's high time we moved to a system of four-year fixed-term parliaments in this country, so I was interested to see that Mail political editor and top blogger Ben Brogan shares this view.

"Once all this nonsense is over, I'm going to start campaigning for fixed terms," he says on his blog today, in the context of the ongoing election speculation.

Meanwhile Tory grandee Sir Malcolm Rifkind had another solution to what he termed the "constitutional outrage" of an election held two years into a parliament.

He joked: "I just wish the Queen would say 'you cannot have one'. It would probably be the end of the monarchy but what a way to go!"

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Rev Paul Martin said...

Who knows? It might strengthen the position of the Queen as a grateful nation responds to be spared an act of desperate manipulation - messes up my republicanism.

I think governments whould serve their terms and fixed Parliament seems the best way to achieve this. It is clear that a GE will be about party advantage rather than a search for legitimacy.

Brown should have disowned this speculation weeks ago. He will now easily be portrayed as the political equivalent of the Grand Old Duke of York. Serves him right!

Lynne Featherstone MP said...

It's a drum I've been beating too Paul! I've been surprised what a soft-ride the media have given Labour on this issue - it isn't as if journalists normally need much of an excuse to have a go at politicians after all! Maybe Benedict Brogan is the first sign of some serious media pressure - we'll see!

Anonymous said...

I don't think there's any particular advantage in fixed-term Parliaments myself - they simply change the focus of political manipulation, not abolish it altogether.

As a matter of fact, there are conditions under which the Queen would refuse Dissolution (they were set out in 1950, in a slightly bizarre manner), but none of them apply here.

Anonymous said...


For what it's worth I agree, and blogged about it a couple of months ago here.

(Using a football analogy, naturally.)

David Ottewell
Manchester Evening News

Paul Linford said...

Nice blog David. I'll put in a link soon.

Anonymous said...

Much appreciated.