Andrew Blick

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    Protecting even prime ministers from themselves: Why fixed-term parliaments seem a good idea

Protecting even prime ministers from themselves: Why fixed-term parliaments seem a good idea

Government runs roughshod over Parliament, as the 2017 election demonstrates. But the Fixed-term Parliaments Act remains on the statute book. Graham Allen and Andrew Blick explain what improvements can be made to the law and the democratic motivations behind them.

Whether one extracts pleasure, dismay or bewilderment from the result of the recent General Election, certain observations are clear. While […]

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    Good idea, bad outcome: whatever happened to fixed-term parliaments?

Good idea, bad outcome: whatever happened to fixed-term parliaments?

The ease with which an early election has been called has raised questions about the purpose of the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act. Andrew Blick outlines the key legal aspects that must be reviewed – including the regular length of a parliament – so that the public will still get to elect their MPs relatively frequently, but not on a timetable […]

Four options for configuring the British constitution

With the SNP surging in Scotland and the break up of the union as plausible as it has ever been. What are the different options for configuring the UK state? In this article, Andrew Blick writes about what the constitutional future might look like. 

Inbuilt within the United Kingdom is the potential for instability. It is a multi-nation state, like Belgium, Canada, Spain […]

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    Magna Carta can still challenge the orthodoxy and help resolve today’s democratic difficulties

Magna Carta can still challenge the orthodoxy and help resolve today’s democratic difficulties

What influence does Magna Carta, signed 800 years ago at Runnymede by King John, continue to have over UK democracy and governance? A lot, according to Andrew Blick, who points out that taken as a whole, it is a surprisingly enduring document which still influences our political and democratic choices to this day. 

Even after eight centuries, Magna Carta is a contemporary document. The 800th anniversary […]

How to construct a team to support the Prime Minister

The trial of Andy Coulson makes it abundantly clear that aides can tarnish the reputation of those they serve. Andrew Blick and George Jones examine the history of aides who have caused trouble for Prime Ministers and, drawing on their recent book, make a series of recommendations about how prime ministers should construct and handle their teams.  In his 1513 […]

The people serving at power’s elbow: Who they were, what they did and how they operated

A new book by Andrew Blick and George Jones, At Power’s Elbow, examines the people that have served as assistants to prime ministers. This article provides a summary of the main themes and some answers to questions that are explored in detail in the book. Our new book is about the characters who formed the network of assistants to prime ministers […]

Despite Cameron’s defeat on intervening in Syria, Parliament actually has relatively weak war powers compared to legislatures in other democracies

Last night, in a highly unusual move, the House of Commons voted against the UK’s intervention with military force in the on-going conflict in Syria, the first time a prime minister has lost a vote on military action since 1782. As part of Democratic Audit’s 2012 audit of UK democracy, Stuart Wilks-Heeg, Andrew Blick, and Stephen Crone considered Parliament’s powers in this area. Although Parliament has […]

Constitutional issues could be more satisfactorily handled outside of the Parliamentary framework

Andrew Blick argues for removing decisions about constitutional change from the immediate sphere of party politics. This may allow for House of Lords reform and other issues that have been difficult to resolve in the traditional manner. The collapse of House of Lords reform leaves issues involving the second chamber, principally its composition, unresolved. Abandonment of coalition policy in this area […]