We have relied for too long on a Victorian ideal of what we used to call decent chaps doing the right thing to keep our constitutional principles intact. We have got to the point where we need a serious written constitution. We need to restore the strengths of the Commons and the Lords by putting their powers into statutory reforms. We are at the absurd point where it is up to the government whether extremely contentious pieces of legislation get to be debated at all.
Boris is showing signs of being extremely impatient in regard to the constitutional constraints upon him. He gets angry if the courts or parliament try to interfere. As the elected prime minister, he thinks he should not be impeded in these ways. We are now getting dangerously close to the “elected dictatorship” that Lord Hailsham, the former Lord Chancellor, warned us about half a century ago. He quite rightly identified it as the underlying risk of a totally unwritten constitution.
17 November 2021 – Ken Clarke, Conservative MP from 1970 to 2019, former Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Health Secretary, Education Secretary, Home Secretary, Chancellor of the Exchequer, and Justice Secretary