• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

British Government and the Constitution "Government without a Constitution is power without a right."

Extracts from this document...


British Government and the Constitution "Government without a Constitution is power without a right." Thomas Paine, Rights of Man A slight problem with attempting to discuss the British constitution is that Britain doesn't have a constitution, not in any traditional sense. In fact, what Britain does have are aged customs, traditions, man-made religious beliefs and a kind of indoctrinated attempt at moral law. Britain is not, in a strict sense, a democracy. Britain is, in fact, a Monarchy with a democratically elected representative parliament. How then can we define a domestic constitution? In 1215, an early attempt at keeping the populous in order found its way into national history in the form of the Magna Carta, which was soon discarded by the powers that were as unworkable, leaning heavily as it did on Godly conviction. Over a period of time, an early parliament constantly struggled with the crown on issues of supremacy until in 1688, a group of seven Whigs invited William of Orange and his English wife, Mary Stuart, to become joint rulers in place of James II. ...read more.


The two principles, as discussed by John Locke, have changed dramatically, we now see the constitution thus: The rule of Law and the supremacy of parliament. (But a lawyer and a political scientist may argue different points of view, no longer can lawyers pretend that the constitution is theirs, writing about it in narrow-minded isolation.) Although there is no question that it is the achievement of lawyers, Judges and other practitioners of the discipline of law have also made a notable contribution to it, as have political philosophers, controversialists, party organizations, peers, rebels and a legion of those specially interested. Indeed, a British government is not tied to a written charter, binding them to a specific approach. Perhaps this is why we see so much brazen, "...left-liberal, amoral, conformist ignorance in society today..." Peter Hitchens, The Mail on Sunday 08-12-2002. He goes on to add, "...In 1983...only 12 per cent of people wanted to legalise the dangerous, mind bending poison, cannabis...41 per cent support this suicidal policy [today]...in the Eighties, 70 per cent thought homosexuality was wrong. ...read more.


Many more matters are decided at the National level than in, say, Germany or Belgium. Both member states achieving an effective level of regional government. In fact, did not the amalgamation of the East and West (in Germany) see the distribution of wealth for the common good? The last four years in Britain have seen hesitant steps towards regional government, notably in Scotland and Wales, but treating regional authorities as representatives of Westminster rather than representatives of the people does not really change very much. A federal system would be much better. Regional authorities would be directly elected and exercise clearly defined powers. Such a system would bring people nearer to the decisions that most affect their lives. The power of distant bureaucrats would be reduced. A federal Britain would provide new protection of the rights of the individual, and might even lead to a change in opinion towards a united federal Europe. Surely its time to look to the future, to stop needless legislation and the continued march of self-indulgence and work in favour of a constitution that would benefit England, Britain, Europe and indeed, humankind the World over. Scrotum ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Politics section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Politics essays

  1. What is a written constitution?

    Rights Act 1998 provided individuals with the ability to bring claims in domestic courts based on these prescribed human rights.

  2. Explain and evaluate Locke's theory of government

    If the government does something against the law or doesn't abide by them then the people have the right to terminate the contract with the government, and using the right to self-preservation, have even the right to start a rebellion.

  1. 'How far had the British Government abandoned the policy of laissez-faire by 1914?'

    However, the cost at times was extortionate- it was easy enough to identify the illnesses but providing the medicine needed was costly. By 1908 various people had recognised that the major causes of poverty were low wages, unemployment or irregular earnings.


    The role of the executive would be to implement law and administer the country, while the legislature would create and manage the law itself". The problem with Locke's system is that there is nothing to prevent one arm of the government overthrowing the other and abusing its power.

  1. "The 1889 Japanese Constitution was designed to pacify the opposition without deposing the ruling ...

    Press Law of 1875, 1877, 1883. Law of Public Meetings and Associations of 1880. With so many obstacles on the activities of the opposition the political parties had therefore dissolved by the end of 1884, and a number of newspapers had to close down.

  2. Examine the significance of William Pitt, the younger's Government in reforming the British Parliamentary ...

    the House of Commons and at an early age, William was given lessons on how to become an effective orator" (Sparticus, 2005 Pg1). At Cambridge, William Pitt studied political philosophy among other subjects. "At university, Pitt worked hard and showed a reserved, aloof and self-controlled character" (Biography of William Pitt, 2005 p1).

  1. Cabinet Government is dead. Discuss

    Therefore, most Cabinet ministers have a dual responsibility; not only to their department but also to their collective executive body as well, with the non-departmental ministers such as the Chancellor of the Exchequer being able to take a view that transcends departments.

  2. How does British Airways affect the government?

    These people stay in hotels, eat at restaurants and shop at a lot of local shops. This increases business activity and profits. It also increases taxes paid to the government and creates a lot of jobs. Therefore, once again the government would not have to pay as much benefits and

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work