Examining Britain’s Constitution
In This Chapter
Looking at the variety of constitutions
Cheering on Britain’s successful constitution
Weighing up monarchy versus republicanism
The Constitution is the sole source and guaranty of national freedom.
—Former US president Calvin Coolidge
Although you often hear people talk about a country’s constitution, most famously the written one of the United States, you hear less discussion about the UK’s constitution. Don’t think, however, that its lack of a written constitution means that the UK doesn’t have one. Something doesn’t need to be written down to exist – for example, no document decrees that the England football team has to fail, but it happens nonetheless!
In this chapter I examine who calls the shots in the British political system. I take an in-depth look at what characterises a constitution and give you the low-down on how Britain’s constitution works, including the reasons for its success and the roles of politicians, the courts and the monarchy.