Guide to Lord Falconer's fantasy Britain

14th July 2006 at 01:00
Lord Falconer, as the Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs, in a country with no constitution, must have a pretty cushy job.

I imagine his briefing session with civil servants at the start of each day must be rather short.

"So chaps," he asks them, "anything new I need to know about the constitution?"

"No, we still haven't got one minister."

"Splendid."

Anxious to keep busy, he's been filling in his time with a bit of book promotion - encouraging teenagers to pick up a copy of a new "plain English" government guide to, er, the constitution.

The book attempts to explain the rules and procedures by which we are Governed and Lord Falconer hopes that it will paint a more positive picture of politicians in the minds of younger subjects - or "citizens" as the Government insists on calling us as if the revolution has happened already and Tony has assumed the role of President.

"The problem is that you read so many dreadful things about politicians all the time in the newspapers and hear them on the radio that you believe all of us are equally bad in trust or personal interest terms," he complains.

"Whether Conservative or Labour, you would be amazed that most politicians are not the crooks and criminals that the press make us out to be."

In the interests of accurate journalism, I wonder if he can expand in the word "most" by providing us with a list.

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