Cameron makes big promises on devolving power to citizens
11.15am update: Read the full text of David Cameron's speech here on Conservatives.com
10.45am update: Click here from 11am to see the live webcast of David Cameron's Q&A after the speech.
In an article for The Guardian - We need a massive, radical redistribution of power - David Cameron sets out some next steps for Britain's constitution and democracy.
The rhetoric is terrific:
Most - perhaps all - of the specific ideas highlighted by David Cameron have been announced before, however. They include, according to The Guardian:
- Possible ending the right of Downing Street to control the timing of general elections by the introduction of fixed-term parliaments.
- MPs could be handed the crucial power of deciding the timetable of bills and more free votes at committee stage.
- Reducing whips' powers by allowing MPs to choose the chairs and members of Commons select committees.
- Text alerts for voters on the progress of parliamentary bills.
- Publication of the expenses claims of all public servants earning more than £150,000.
- Empowerment of local councils with "competence" - allowing them to reverse Whitehall decisions to close popular services, such as a local post office or a railway station, by giving them the power to raise money to keep them open.
James Forsyth at Coffee House is 'hugely encouraged' by the speech. Stephan Shakespeare of YouGov - writes for ConservativeHome today about his enthusiasm for the wider Cameron vision for a post-bureaucratic age. Given Team Cameron's controlling instincts on party management I remain eager to see more beef. I would have liked to have seen measures for voters to be able to recall voters mid-term, for example. On our relationship with Europe, in particular, the Conservative leadership is cautious. I am disappointed at today's Times report that we may be colluding with Labour to keep party many political donations secret. Perhaps we will get more in the speech that David Cameron is giving on this subject at 11am.