Thursday, September 28, 2006

Ken Clarke on tour

Hush PuppiesSpent this lunchtime at a UCL seminar by Ken Clarke MP on the Conservative democracy taskforce he is chairing. He made a number of interesting points:

  • David Cameron is genuinely interested in reforming the political process to tackle public disdain and encourage participation at and between elections.

  • Clarke agrees with many of the recommendations of the Power Commission, but is interested in reforming Parliament, government and the Civil Service more than the long-term bottom-up measures suggested by the Commission.

  • He thinks that Scottish and Welsh MPs should be excluded from voting on issues that do not affect their own constituents. He does not though believe the UK should move towards a genuine federal structure, not least because of the imbalance in size of the four nations.

  • There is a limit to the autonomy that can be given to local councils, because their income will always largely depend on central transfers of wealth between the UK regions.
In a month's time we get Jack Straw. I can barely wait ;)

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