I submitted a contribution to the Parliament competition for a Preamble to a written constitution in October 2014. I did not win the competition, but along with all of the submitters have been invited to the Palace of Westminster to meet the Constitutional Committee.
Here is my submission.
October 25, 2014 at 12:21 AM
“A voice for the people, a voice for the community. Giving those who are without a voice, the way to make a difference to help this and every generation to follow, create fairness, and equality and maintain liberty for all. Our constitution is a balance of what went before, it shows where we have been and what we have created and how we have arrived at the decisions of today, and shows the way to the future.
Balance the words and the deeds to the actions and using the law to illustrate right to each and every citizen without fear or favour and not for profit or fame but to endeavour to deliver all from the insecurity of bias and hatred. Showing no privilege or prejudice to anyone, but treating each citizen as unique to themselves and deserving to be considered so. The constitution shows and gives direction to enable trust in each decision and future proof the word of parliament and whose who try to establish a country where it is safe, caring and just.
This balance is then illustrated in national regional and local government and all the works of the nation for health education, and commerce. Giving the citizens the example of fairness and a just conscience to face the world and bring peace for themselves and each other on the planet, and showing empathy via reason, and reflection and discussion with accountability, clarity, collaboration, equity, and stability.”
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I have just been reading a review of a book on the “Magna Carta” of 1215. This review is in the Guardian newspaper. It seems chapters 39 and 40 are part of the legislation of the UK in that they indicate the idea of legislation under the law and that the charter brought into being in 1225 under Henry 111 contains most of the specific ideals we are associate we the ideal of the Great Charter.(The title being in Latin which means Great Charter.) Of course the Charter was written similar to all such documents to maintain the rights of those in power which at that time were the Lords and Barons. But the idea persisted and even The Peasants Revolt in the rule of Richard 11 made some reference to the Magna Carta and so did those who debated democracy at Putney in the mid 17th century.

But did you realize that there is a Parliamentary Committee which is now formulating a new version-which will be a form of Constitution for the UK. And further still did you know that there is a competition for a Preamble to this document to which everyone can enter and submit their ideas on how the contents should be. The competition is on the Parliament UK website and one just writes a paragraph or two of about 300 words and submits it. All submissions are there on the website page. The closing date is this month, so if you want to submit please hurry and have a look.
I saw a copy of the Magna Carta in Lincoln Castle a decade ago. All the copies will be at an exhibition in regard to anniversary this year, of its writing,(800years)which will be held at the British Library.

From the Parliament Website-The Select Committee on the ARTS funding. Said
England’s Arts council should urgently restore some balance to Arts funding according to the Culture, Media and Sport Committee’s report, published on Wednesday 5 November 2014.
There is a clear arts funding imbalance in favour of London at the expense of tax payers and lottery players in other parts of the country, which must be urgently rectified.

It indicated that London is a World centre of culture but this should not hide the fact that other influences are at work and
since 2010, the Arts Council has seen its grant in aid fall by a third, a situation causing cuts in staff numbers and difficult decisions about where to target support. While some of the imbalance can be explained by London’s status as a capital city and world centre of culture, the Committee says the Arts Council must do more to redress the balance.
The Committee says it would be disappointed if the Arts Council saw any further fall in its grant in aid, despite the need to recognise prevailing economic conditions.

Limiting London’s access to National Lottery funding for the arts to its proper per capita share (equal to that of the rest of England) as proposed in the October 2013 report “Rebalancing our cultural capital”
A fairer redistribution of funding could be accelerated in the event of any future increase in Arts Council grant in aid, which should be earmarked for the English regions beyond the M25 area.

The Chair,John Whittingdale MP, Chair of the Committee, said:

” There is a clear imbalance in arts funding in favour of London – which the Arts Council itself admits. This is unfair on tax payers and lottery players in other parts of the country, as well as limiting access to cultural opportunities and enjoyment across the country.

We heard evidence of well thought out proposals to help redress the balance, starting for example with lottery funding. We welcome the efforts already being made by the Arts Council to shift lottery funding outside of London but would like to see this done faster.” Quotes from the Parliament website UK.
Sometimes it seems that London is a state within a state. A lovely place, but fair shares for all should be the idea in all topics not just the arts.

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There was a heavy frost this morning.
So the winter is coming and there might be a snowfilled festive season.
Flu might reappear, so watching the news on the Health Bill seems important.
The Gillotine, the process by which a bill goes through Parliament at a set time wherein it can be discussed, will not be used it seems in regard to the Bill. (due to rebellion fears and queries on the minister’s powers stated in the bill). This method of giving a bill a set time for debate of parts of it was developed when in the 19th century some parties in parliament would
talk and talk a bill out until there was no more time for it to get through a parliamentary session -Philabustering.
(sorry about the spelling)
So it maybe the new year now when the said bill gets to the next stage.
But then some might think this 19th century idea was not that bad, whilst others might think whats’ happening is democracy in action.
Since then we have had the 1948 Act and free teeth,free glasses, free orange juice for the babies, venture capitalists and care homes, informatics, the Lean process of management. There’s never a dull moment is there.
Keeping warm will also be important and with the maintaince cost of all those new windmills a new report says by 2020 we will be paying more than £2000 annually to keep out the cold on a cold winter night.
So we need to stock up on salt for the driveway and sugar. It seems sugar helps dissolve ice when the temperature gets to -10. (Thats what they going to use with the grit this year)