As kids are going
here’s a nice compare and contrast exercise
for adults and parents!
Italy vs the UK
Italy has a constitution.
It was set up by a Constituent Assembly after the country voted to become a Republic in 1947
You can read it here
The UK does not have a constitution.
It has a set of rules and conventions.
It relies on the “gentlemanly” behaviour of all concerned to obey these rules and abide by these conventions
You need a degree in Law or Politics to find your way around them.
Interpretation of these conventions can turn on a single word.
Take, for example, the Sewell Convention
“In terms of the legislative process, the potential for a crisis centres upon the so-called “Sewel Convention” whereby the UK Parliament “will not normally legislate” for devolved matters without the consent of the devolved institutions”
Since Brexit was not a “normal” situation, the Sewell Convention was simply
tossed out of the window as far as Scotland and Wales were concerned.
Remember: Northern Ireland had the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement to protect its rights
People living in the UK have no single reliable source that codifies their rights and sets out government procedures.
“settled status” ?
Stating the problem
Over the month of August, Italy and the UK both had institutional crises.
The Italian parliament was immediately recalled from its August recess.
MP’s turned up, debated and the government was overturned.
The issue was handed over to the President to deal with
In the UK PM Johnson appeared before parliament for exactly 1 day before recess.
Mid-August over 100 MPs wrote to him
asking for Parliament to be recalled ahead of the scheduled 3rd September because of Brexit.
They accused him of dodging scrutiny and warned the country stood on “the brink of an economic crisis”.
And the reply?
Compare and Contrast
The Italian crisis proceeded according to what was set out in the Constitution.
The President set a time-limit of a week or so for inter-party negotiations to form a new government.
Otherwise a general election would be held in November.
A new coalition government was formed within the deadline and has already taken office
Members of Italy’s anti-establishment Five Star movement (M5S) overwhelmingly backed a coalition with the centre-left Democratic party (PD) in an online vote, giving the final backing to a deal between traditional foes intended to pull Italy out of a political crisis.
In the UK rumours were rife that holiday-making parliamentarians were plotting to prevent a No Deal Brexit.
MPs were on Skype, smart phones, apps and e-mail from their villas and hotels in France, Italy, Montenegro, Croazia, Austria and places even further afield.
Much ado about nothing!
PM Johnson sent 3 associates to Balmoral, where HM Elizabeth II was staying, to get her to sign a 5-week suspension order for Westminster, telling the public “it was normal practice”.
Closing down Parliament, or “prorogation” as they like to call it so we can’t understand what it means, was followed by a raft of legal challenges and widespread demonstrations against the “silencing” of Parliament
I asked typical Italians
“What would have happened in Italy if . ….
the PM had gone to the President and asked him to sign an order
closing down Parliament because the MPs didn’t agree with him?”
“That’s unthinkable” they said “It just couldn’t happen”
“Our Constitution outlaws that type of behaviour”
REFS and PICS