Etude d’un article de Janet Daley extrait de The Daily Telegraph du 23 Juin 2009.
In June 2009, it has been discovered in Great Britain that some of the members of Parliament had been abusing their privileges and thereby stealing money from taxpayers and damaging the moral image of the British principles. The exposure of corruptions within the British Parliament created a real national scandal that questioned the legitimacy of the non-written Constitution that the country has had for centuries. On that subject, it would be interesting to study an article in The Daily Telegraph, a mostly Conservative national and international UK newspaper in which this debate is discussed. In this ...view middle of the document...
In fact, « Britishness » appears to be a pure, beloved aspect of national identity in the UK, and the fact of having an uncodified constitution is part of that singularity. Yet, the events of 2009 forced the population to question that notion in order to set clear rights and duties to each part of the government, specifying and delimitating the boundaries of their power. In this objective, events such as this one could not happen again and there would be a balanced and controlled authority. However, Janet Daley writes it in her article as an introduction to the subject, to show how polemical this matter is; and to get closer to the reader during her plea, she starts and ends it with questions, which makes the reader think and keeps her from directly affirming her opinion. Avoiding a conflict with the reader is one of the current strategy in her text.
A written constitution has its advantages, and the author of this text even expresses her understanding about the proponents of this idea: “ I can see the attraction: the codifying of rules of behaviour for Parliamentarians has clearly become a matter of urgency.”
Since this incident, it is clear that the non-written constitution is not able to avoid such things. In the UK, the Executive has too much power, and a written constitution would help dispersing power more equally. Moreover, such documents can only be altered by following strict procedures, which means that if would give the courts and the people more power and control over the decisions when it comes to ruling the country. The journalist uses this for tactical needs, in order to avoid creating a conflict with her readers, which helps her introducing her real opinion on the subject. By getting closer to the reader, she makes it more human and leaves him or her under the impression of having a conversation or a debate. She also explains why advocates want this modification of the constitutional system. They characterize it as a natural development of democracy and more specifically as a « systematic template for “modern democracy” ». In fact, people who believe in this change for a written constitution consider it as a necessary and almost logical evolution saying that the Constitution has some failures and was not able to impede such abuses to happen. By starting with a description of the two parts of the opinion, Janet Daley can slowly introduce her point on the question. Moreover, the use of the first person “I” establishes a much more personal relation to the reader.
As a Conservative, she believes in the current constitution and defends it with several arguments against the written one.
“ (…) what appears to be state-of-the-art modernity at any given moment is likely to look positively quaint (…)”
In fact, her point is that by writing a precise constitution, it might enable it from adapting. The major advantage of the actual constitution in the UK is that is can easily be altered by simply passing an act, without having to go...