Former First Minister Carwyn Jones brands Westminster a ‘dictatorship’
A former First Minister of Wales has branded Westminster a “dictatorship”.
Carwyn Jones, who used to be the Labour MS for Bridgend, argued that the UK Parliament is an “elective dictatorship because no citizen can challenge what” it does.
He said Westminster can “do anything it wants during the course of a parliamentary term”, which could include removing the “entire court system” or making it “illegal to travel around the UK without permission”.
Jones contrasted the system in the UK with the US which has a written constitution and where the “powers and limitations of Congress are defined”.
In an article for the National, he wrote: “In the US, the powers and limitations of Congress are defined; there is after all a written constitution there, together with a court whose job it is to interpret that constitution.
“In other countries, such as Germany or Italy, or indeed pretty much any true democracy it’s accepted that there is a set of rules that parliaments have to follow and a court to stop them when they don’t.
“In theory, Wales has a written constitution, as the structure and powers of the Senedd and Welsh Government are laid down in a series of UK Acts of Parliament and which form a kind of constitution which is subject to the oversight of the courts. Not so the UK Parliament.”
“Westminster is in effect a free-for-all. If the UK Parliament wanted to abolish the Scottish Parliament it could do so without even asking the people of Scotland.
“If it wanted to make it illegal to travel around the UK without permission, it could do so. It could even remove the entire court system and reintroduce trial by combat if it wished.
“Perhaps the last example is a bit extreme, but the point is that Westminster can do anything it wants during the course of a parliamentary term.
“Nothing can restrain it and no laws apply to it. In that sense it is indeed an elective dictatorship because no citizen can challenge what the UK Parliament does. Once a Parliament is elected, the electors are removed from the picture.”
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