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6. Should the UK have its own Bill of Rights?
About this Lecture
In this module David Blunkett answers the question: “Should the UK have its own Bill of Rights?”, focusing in particular on: (i) the tension between citizens’ rights and the duty of government to protect citizens; (ii) David Blunkett’s experiences as Home Secretary during and post-9/11; (iii) the tone of the present debate, which leans towards reducing rather than enhancing rights; (iv) the constitutional challenges posed by a bill of rights and the argument for reform.
This course takes the form of a series of questions put to Lord David Blunkett, a senior politician (and the UK’s first blind cabinet minister) who has served as both Education Secretary and as Home Secretary and who now sits in the House of Lords. In the first three modules, we ask Lord Blunkett how the relationship between senior government politicians and backbenchers, politicians and the media, and politicians and the electorate has changed during his time in politics. Then, in the fourth module, we ask “What are some of the different factors that influence an MP when voting in the House of Commons?” as well as “Should the House of Lords be reformed, abolished, or left alone?”. In the fifth module, we cover Blunkett’s views on the greatest challenges facing the current Prime Minister, before in the sixth module asking whether the UK should have its own Bill of Rights. In the seventh module, we cover political participation and the quality of UK democracy. Then, in the eighth module, we ask Lord Blunkett: “During your career as a politician, what have you done that made the biggest impact or difference?”, before following this up in the ninth module with an exploration of the key challenges currently facing the Education Secretary, based on Lord Blunkett’s own experiences in the role and recent Learning and Skills report. In the tenth module, we cover the subject of pressure groups, before in the eleventh module exploding the subject of parliamentary sovereignty. In the twelfth module, we cover the subject of electoral reform, asking: “Should the UK move to a proportional representation system for general elections?”. Then, in the thirteenth and final module, we ask “How important is the individual personality of a Prime Minister to the character of UK politics?”, illustrating the subject with examples both historical and recent.
Lord David Blunkett is a British Labour Party politician and present Member of the House of Lords. Prior to taking up his position in the Lords, Professor Blunkett was an MP for 28 years, and served in multiple New Labour cabinets. He was Britain’s first blind Cabinet minister. He has held several Cabinet positions, including as Secretary of State for Education and Employment (1997-2001), Home Secretary (2001-2004), and finally Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (2005).
Cite this Lecture
Blunkett, D. (2023, February 28). Interview with David Blunkett - Should the UK have its own Bill of Rights? [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://massolit.io/courses/interview-with-david-blunkett/should-the-uk-have-its-own-bill-of-rights
Blunkett, D. "Interview with David Blunkett – Should the UK have its own Bill of Rights? ." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 28 Feb 2023, https://massolit.io/courses/interview-with-david-blunkett/should-the-uk-have-its-own-bill-of-rights