WHEN I was studying political institutions in Oxford some year ago, many of us took the view that the written constitutions which almost every country had worldwide gave citizens protection from the arbitrary power exercised by ruling elites. We saw the lack of a written constitution for Westminster as a danger in a democratic society.

However, the defenders of the Westminster system argued that while the UK Parliament did not have a written constitution it held strictly to convention and precedent and as such the system would prevent sudden significant change, but could cope well with gradual change and development and indeed that this stability protected the citizen.

Well, all of this invaluable stability has been blown apart in just a few years, and our “stable” constitution has been contorted into something no intelligent democrat would design in a written constitution, and we have a political situation without historical precedent, designed entirely in the interests of the ruling elite with the vast majority of the citizens ignored.

I am being told by the BBC and the UK media that our new Prime Minister will shortly be elected by a tiny minority of the population who are members of the Tory party even although many of these have apparently recently joined that party just to get this vote and indeed, some members are getting two ballot papers, while the rest of the population are excluded.

Now, that has no place in the Westminster constitution. Prime Ministers are not elected in the UK, they are appointed by the monarch. The constitutional position has been clear since the beginning of the 20th century. The monarch invites the leader of the political party who can command a majority in the commons to form a government and on the assurance that a political leader can do this, the monarch appoints him/her as Prime Minister.

If there is any doubt about a political leader being unable to command a majority in the Commons a General Election must be called.

Well, there is a great deal of doubt about the Brexit policy to be followed by any leader of the Tory party. Indeed it is pretty obvious – with the Prime Minister failing three times to get her policy thought the Commons – that the Conservatives do not command a majority in the Commons, in spite of having openly bribed another party to give them that majority.

The constitutional position is clear: in order to comply with convention and precedent, a General Election must be called and the people given the choice to elect a new House of Commons.

Now the ruling elite do not like this constitutional position, the Tories are afraid to go before the electorate, so they have opted to change the constitution to serve their interests. This is outrageous and flies in the face of precedent and convention. It is a desperate act of self preservation by the Tories, aided and abetted by Labour leadership indecision and incompetence. If there ever was a case of unconstitutional conduct we are watching it now, and it will be interesting to see if the Speaker of the Commons and the Queen can be used in this unconstitutional slight of hand.

One thing should be clear to us in Scotland – any suggestion that we must dance to Westminster’s constitutional requirement in order to take our leave of this “Union” should be treated with the contempt it deserves.

Andy Anderson

WELL done, Alison Johnstone (Time to end the senseless slaughter of wild animals, July 5). As a long-standing member of the SNP I sincerely hope that my party will support your bill unreservedly.

Marjorie Forrest
West Kilbride