Parliamentary supremacy intoxicating

Letters to the Editor

Parliamentary supremacy intoxicating

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Print this page Email A Friend!

Dear Editor,

Under the point of the sword King John of England enacted the Magna Carta on June 15, 1215 and created Parliament. The principle is that everyone is subject to the law, even the king, and guarantees the rights of individuals the right to justice and the right to a fair trial.

The problem with any right is how you enforce it.

The effective control of government is the supremacy of Parliament. In the 17th century, Edward Cook wanted to make the Magna Carta above the king and above parliament. He failed. Parliament has been able to act like a king having parliamentary prerogative — usually corrupt without being subject to the law. Parliament can give you rights and take them away, making citizens of a parliamentary democracy subjects and not free.

Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Because the guarantee of rights were to guard against the king's abuse of power by a pro-parliamentary group and transfer the power to parliament, I recommend that parliamentary supremacy be put in check by requirements to hold referendum on any matter that affects the citizens significantly.

We have made parliamentarians kings, then we are upset when they act accordingly.

Elections only reinforce this system because they become a government in waiting. They will continue to act like they are above the law because, in practice, they are.

As a mathematician, I study patterns. Never give people absolute power — like states of emergency to fight crime — because they will never give it up. It is like good sex and lots of money — intoxicating.

Brian Ellis Plummer

Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at




1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper � email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed:

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email:

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

comments powered by Disqus



Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon