Once I was a clever boy learning the arts of Oxford... is a quotation from the verses written by Bishop Richard Fleming (c.1385-1431) for his tomb in Lincoln Cathedral. Fleming, the founder of Lincoln College in Oxford, is the subject of my research for a D. Phil., and, like me, a son of the West Riding. I have remarked in the past that I have a deeply meaningful on-going relationship with a dead fifteenth century bishop... it was Fleming who, in effect, enabled me to come to Oxford and to learn its arts, and for that I am immensely grateful.

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Royal Consent

I see in today's Daily Telegraph that the Political and Constitional Reform committee of MP's have questioned the principle of the Royal consent to the introduction of prospective legislation which affects the Royal Prerogative or the rights of the Duchy of Lancaster or the Duchy of Cornwall. The report can be read here. There is an article commenting about the issue by Allan Massie, which can be read here.

Massie's article is basically sound, if a bit Whiggish for my taste or opinion. I would be very wary indeed of allowing restriction on such an exercise of the Royal Preogative as might possibly ensue from this report. Firstly it is a power already exercised in tune with Ministerial advice, and secondly it also respects the point that the Monarch and the Prince of Wales have legal rights - unique legal rights - that need to be safeguarded in an age of rapid and far reaching legislation. Despite what some writers in, or readers of, the Guardian or Independent might affect to believe, the system is n't bust, so don't mend it...  


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