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From a UK Conservative, Advice for the U.S.

Douglas Carswell MP, the man behind the recent toppling of House of Commons Speaker Michael Martin, has advice for U.S. conservatives.

by
Andrew Ian Dodge

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September 15, 2009 - 12:43 am
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MP Douglas Carswell co-authored The Plan: Twelve Months to Save Britain with MEP Dan Hannan in a bid to influence the direction of a future Conservative government in the UK.

The two of them have been up to quite a lot of late.

Dan Hannan has become a bit of personality on the right in the U.S., especially on Fox News. Carswell managed to fell a speaker of the House of Commons over the speaker’s handling of the MP expenses scandal, a feat that has not been accomplished in 300 years. Also, Conservative leader David Cameron and his team appear to be pinching ideas from The Plan. So its been quite a year for the duo.

Like Hannan, and unlike many of his fellow parliamentarians, Carswell blogs (Talk Carswell) when he gets a break in his schedule. Considering many on the more “Whiggish” right seem to think Carswell talks a great deal of sense, I thought he might offer some words of wisdom to those suffering on the American right:

AD: What you managed to achieve re: Speaker Martin is historic. Do you have any advice for Republicans wishing to rid themselves of the troublesome Speaker Pelosi in the House of Representatives?

DC: Unseating the speaker of the House of Commons for the first time in over 300 years was not something I set out to do when I was elected to Parliament. In fact, I want to be able to respect our democratic institutions and traditions.

But when I discovered how self-serving, supine, and useless our legislature in Britain has now become, I felt I had no choice but to act — and alas, our former speaker was standing in the way of change.

We need radical change to put purpose back into Parliament — and to restore people’s battered faith in our broken democracy. We’re still a long, long way from the radical changes we need. But removing the speaker shows that things don’t have to be the way they are. It is the start in what will be a long struggle.

My criticisms of Michael Martin were never personal. I try my hardest in this politics business never to make personal criticisms. I’m not sure if the issues that some Republicans have with Speaker Pelosi fit into the same category as the issues I had with Speaker Martin. But my advice would be this: don’t attack Speaker Pelosi personally. If you have any criticisms of how your speaker does their job in terms of holding the executive to account, say so. Say it respectfully. And blog it — so that the people can decide for themselves if your points are valid.

AD: What advice would you give the right in the U.S. on how to deal with the socialist administration of Obama?

DC: First remember this — the United States of America is the most successful, prosperous, happy land on Earth not by accident, but because of your Jeffersonian heritage. So stay true to the ideals of the young Republic: limited government, states’ rights, and individual liberty.

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