Sunday, March 22, 2015

How Britain Is Governed

Via a link from Full Fact, here is the 2011 Cabinet Manual, the first (it seems) comprehensive overview of how we are governed.

Eurosceptics can read Chapter 9 and fulminate; those questioning the legality of surrender of sovereignty might be interested to see the comment on judicial review:

"Judicial review

"6.10   Ministers’ decisions, and the process by which they exercise (or fail to exercise) their powers, can be reviewed by the High Court, although the courts will usually hesitate to intervene in cases where they accept that, because of the subject matter (entering into treaties, the defence of the
realm, the grant of honours, etc.), the decision-maker is better qualified than the courts to make a judgment."

It also gives links (with at least one typo - letter "j" is sometimes given for "i" in this online version) to other documents, including how the Government is prepared to respond to emergencies.

The Cabinet Manual was commissioned by Gordon Brown. Maybe this is one of his best legacies.


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Nick Drew said...

Excellent stuff, I very much like the emergency response doc

although it would be possible to be critical of some of the contents, in fact the UK is recognised as being really very good at preparations like that

in my (first hand) experience, albeit a good few years ago now, the weak link was the FCO: they are (were) so sure they were so boody smart, they intutively reckoned they could wing it. Wrong.

BTW if you want a cold chill down the spine, read 7.13 of that doc

Sackerson said...

Re your last sentence: no chill from those words, reassuringly anodyne and doubtless there so when the tide turns an individual may be quietly crucified.

You may be interested to read the guide for Spads -

- which includes this:

"Special advisers should conduct themselves with integrity and honesty. They should
not deceive or knowingly mislead Parliament or the public. They should not misuse their
official position or information acquired in the course of their official duties to further their
private interests or the private interests of others."

Shame that can't be retrospective.

Nick Drew said...

no, Sackers - 7.13 in the Emergencies doc

Sackerson said...

The Northern Ireland Office?

Nick Drew said...

exactly. Look what they are preparing for