David Miliband Doesn’t Know What Century It Is

Posted on  

"David Miliband Doesn’t Know What Century It Is"


Via Hendrick Hertzberg, Foreign Secretary David Miliband (a likely future Labour Party leader) expresses his “personal view” that the UK needs a broad set of political reforms:

Miliband told a press gallery lunch: “We’ve still got a 19th century political system trying to address 20th century problems and in my book the whole system – the election to the Commons, the Lords, local government and how it’s organised, fixed terms parliaments – they should all be on a ballot.

“We should have what I would call a reset referendum that would reset the political system in a way that can actually address modern problems by getting power where it belongs, by checking power at the right places, by giving more rights and making sure rights of the individual are safe-guarded.”

Now that it’s 2010, shouldn’t the UK government be on to solving 21st century problems?

My take is that Gordon Brown’s proposal for the UK to switch to an IRV system in parliamentary elections is, though opportunistic in its motivation, a good idea. I don’t really get the idea of “reforming” the House of Lords. Reforming the Lords by recognizing that it’s a dumb idea and stripping them of their power seems like it was a good idea to me. If they have any vestigial power that’s problematic, they could be stripped of that too. The risk of any kind of reform that takes a non-power-stripping form is that it’ll just lead to demands for the Lords to get more power.

« »

By clicking and submitting a comment I acknowledge the ThinkProgress Privacy Policy and agree to the ThinkProgress Terms of Use. I understand that my comments are also being governed by Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, or Hotmail’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policies as applicable, which can be found here.