Football? Beer? Sex? Nope, a UK constitution

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The title may help non-traditional audiences to find their ways to this fine article on UK constitutional reform written by Neal Ascherson. For the many talkingaboutarevolution regulars, both of you, please excuse the puerile foolishness.

The article is part of openDemocracy’s launch of a conversation about Britain’s destiny, which sounds stuffily grand but which certainly interests me.

Ascherson mentions how difficult it will be for any real progress to be made towards anything approaching a real constitution for the UK or parts thereof, despite what our new Dear-Leader-in-waiting Gordon Brown might say. Silly headlines like the one above probably don’t help much.

This was the nub of my response:

My appreciation of this article is more for the clarity of its information and historical context than for the quality of its conclusions. I share more sympathy with the brief postings of jdoucette5522 and douglas jones than with the author’s views. We’re talking re-arranging the roof terrace furniture on a very tall building here – our systems of power themselves are at fault, as are the economic environments in which they operate.

All of our democracies are miles away from anything approaching true popular rule, which would require much more transparency, accountability, and, let’s face it, time invested by ordinary people to make the systems work. That time is unlikely to be forthcoming unless there is the promise of some satisfaction through influence. Hmmm.

In the meantime, the most satisfying alternative is to explore local systems of exchange and politics rooted outside the mainstream.

You can join the debate here.

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