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Rory Stewart's 'Politics On the Edge'...

This book is ground-breaking. If there is just one book your read this year - please make it this one. You will then know why politics is not just broken but will continue to stay broken. Rory explains concisely and interestingly why politics does not work - it will rock you with failure upon failure of every process in the UK's state machinery, aided and abetted by the politicians themselves along with the civil service.

This book should be mandatory study for every child over 12 years old. Only then, perhaps in 25 years time, there would be enough understanding to start a meaningful procedure to dump the UK's current political system and starting again with a completely different system.



There is an argument that the most important structures within western democracies are the Parliamentary systems.  The UK of course started this system of governance way back when. 

So it is interesting that any cursory review of the UK parliament and the effectiveness of its governance for the UK shows that for tens of years this system of governance is one of almost complete failure. 

This includes all the core issues such as health, energy, transport, education, economic leveling-up, the criminal system & prison system and others.

The basic idea of representative ‘law makers’ elected to a central parliament, helped along by an un elected well structured civil service, and by local elected councilors would seem reasonably sensible. 

Why then has there been, and allowed to continue, such poor strategic governance for many, many years?

These can be listed in all their stark gory-ness:

This list is ridiculous in its breadth and depth.  These failures point to a governance system that simply does not work for our society as a whole.  If it was a business, it would have gone bust long ago.

It is understandable that a system of governance built upon the adversarial and complex positioning of party politics can produce an unwieldy parliament and distract the ‘law makers’ from taking sensible strategic decisions for a period of office.

But what is ridiculous is that over the course of a lifetime, there has been almost zero change in the governance processes.

The voice of our democracy; the BBC:-

What makes this even worse within the last say fifteen years is the fact that the BBC has become embroiled in a fight for its own existence with the elected parliamentarians who see it as interference to their work (or lack of work).  This has prevented wide-ranging, quality, independent and open reviews of these law makers decisions.  The BBC now has no teeth and no backbone, it is a shadow of what is used to be with robust and effective commentators like Robin Day.

The spread of political correctness within the BBC structure has exacerbated this as the BBC applies this to the point, laughably when they invite alternative views that are completely illogical and have no representation apart from three drunk people in some unknown pub somewhere about a year ago, that no one can now find.

What is not understandable is that there is no process of enquiry or redress on these ‘law making’ failures. 
As a society, we do use a fairly effectively, judicial enquiry and other independent enquiry processes into significant failures as and when they occur. 
It is staggering that no such process exists for parliamentary decision-making for core areas that affect everyone within our society. 

Parliamentary Committees:

Yes, there is some oversight from various committees and economic bodies.  But these do not analyse past performance in the core decisions for areas such as health, education, energy, transport etc.  There are committees looking forward in each main area, but these do not have any direct effect on strategic lawmaking or implementation, they recommend only, often to be ignored.

The People's Understanding:

Probably the most disturbing aspect of this, is the lack of almost any discussion that a problem exists at all.  The media and people generally moan about the lack of strategic provisions in all the main areas, but who ever suggest that the parliamentary decision making system is in fact broken.

IDEAS for Change - A Mandatory Review Process:

CST suggests that we change this.  There are a number of alternatives such as our previously set out Planning Bodies.  There could also be a straightforward judicial review process mandated after every parliamentary session or at some timely juncture.  Such a process would work as follows:

This would not immediately solve all these failures of governance, but it would highlight the key issues and hold all ‘law makers’ to task to do their jobs diligently, honestly and openly.  For serious failures of group or individual decision making that go against all sensible advice and information, a prison sentence could be mandated. 

This would prevent many individuals within the multi-party fractional parliamentary process from considering that they can act without reference to the people who voted for them.  Go directly to jail; do not collect your two million for your ‘after dinner speaker fees’ as you pass the exit door.






The Governance of Governance

- There isn’t any!

Jan 2023 & Updated April 2024

Why do we put up with ridiculously poor parliamentary decision making, year after year, after year?

Breaking Update - CST now knows why Parliament does not work - we have read the book of the century - Rory Stewart's 'Politics On the Edge'