Searching through a 1942 edition of the Manchester Guardian (now theguardian), I came across this letter dated October 2nd of that year. It’s from a J. L. Edwards of Whitefield.
It is to be hoped that members of the House of Commons will avail themselves to the full of the opportunity offered by the Home Secretary when he moved the second reading of the Prolongation of Parliament Bill. He then repeated the pledge already given by the Government that before a general election could be held facilities would be given for the discussion of the electoral system, so that there might be proper consideration of suggested reforms.
That our electoral system is far from perfect is acknowledged by members of all parties. It may be argued that the question of structure of the post-war Parliament is at present only of academic interest, but many will fear lest, by shelving the matter, we find ourselves unprepared for the serious problems which will arise at the end of the war. Consideration of the working of our electoral system is surely a matter of the first importance.
The War Cabinet’s plan for India, which was presented to the leaders of Indian opinion by Sir Stafford Cripps in March of this year, provided for the election of the Constitution-making body by the system of Proportional Representation. This recognition by the Government of the practicality of Proportional Representation raises the question whether this method should be applied in the election of the House of Commons, and makes all the more important an early consideration by Parliament of the defects of our own electoral system. The most suitable machinery for examining the problem would appear to be a Speaker’s Conference, on the lines of the one appointed during the last war.
The more things change, the more they stay the same. Anyone know if the pledge for “discussion of the electoral system” was fulfilled?
Apologies for the self-referential nature of this entry: it’s a blog post about a letter responding to a letter about blog posts, tagged with the keywords “Blogging” and “Letters”.
I have returned to the letters page of theguardian with this quip, which I decided to send rather than go to the effort of a proper rebuttal. The letter I was replying to was printed on Friday.
In other blogging news, I have spruced up the site a bit. Let me know what you think, and please report any problems. It’s not looking quite right on Firefox, so there’s some tweaking to be done.
I dropped theguardian a line yesterday and today I’m on the obituaries page!
(The odd quotation marks in the first paragraph aren’t mine although the slightly garbled first sentence of the second paragraph is.)
Lothian Buses – or, rather, their drivers – are on strike next Monday as part of ongoing industrial action. There is no service on strike days and a Saturday service the rest of the week. Given that I use these buses to get to work, this is Bad News.
As I have a bus pass, I thought I’d email and ask how I would be compensated. Good News: they got back to me very quickly and told me they would be making amends:
After the strike is over and normal service has been resumed, holders of
Adult and Junior Advance Purchase Ridacards can opt to have two days
additional travel added to their GoSmart card for every day when Lothian
drivers are on strike.
As an alternative, and again after the strike is over and normal service has
been resumed, a monetary refund in respect of each day lost through strike
will be paid at the following rates
Adult £1.55 per day
Student £1.30 per day
Junior £1.05 per day
For those customers who pay for their Ridacard by Direct Debit, a single
reduced payment will be taken in accordance with the above scale of
compensation in the first or second month following the end of the strike,
after which the monthly payment will revert to the normal amount.
I think I’ll catch a train next Monday (an hourly service for a train journey lasting less than five minutes) and walk the rest of the way. The Saturday service may actually suit me better: fewer buses but at more convenient times.