Larry, Eight Weeks, Sixty Years discussed on Hugh Hewitt


Today I've been gone for the last two days but I'm back for this hour because I did not want to miss the opportunity to talk with doctor Larry on about something I think is actually extraordinary I think it's a an incredible moment in the west I think it's the rebirth of Britain and I am overstating this only a little bit because I think what Boris Johnson did upon taking the keys to number ten was amazing last week and I wanted to talk to doctor Larry on president Hillsdale college about it this way not just because it's a they'll tail dialogue which it is the last radio hour every week thing else tales available Hillsdale dot EDU all of our conversation dating back to twenty thirteen or queue for Hillsdale I went out to doctor Larry on because this is one of the things on which he knows something and I have actually pretend quite well and many things but about the British parliamentary system he knows a lot and can we remind for the benefit of our new audience in Bloomington Indiana for example doctor on how it is that you came to know so much about British politics well I went over there to get myself a girl and that but I had a bit of spare time so I bone up on it no I I went to England to study in nineteen seventy seven and I ended up working for Martin Gilbert the Churchill biographer where I met my wife and I watched market that is that your come to power and prosecutor first year as prime minister and that's the best political theory at the end of that I've ever witnessed with my own eyes and British politics are a drama and in specially in those days gosh they were good and so you're just watching the best show you ever saw and you can watch it back then went on TV but that you could hear it on the radio and read in the papers which was a great thing yeah you'd and you and then if you study Winston Churchill you know with the church of the individual I've turned down and do them because he wished to be remembered as a man of the house of Commons what was so important about that well Churchill explains that a greatly I gotta ask you before we go further it came to my attention this week at the Nixon library that Frank Gannon had worked for Randolph Churchill for a while when he was getting his PhD at Oxford in pursuing a degree in Great Britain have you cross paths with Frank no I eight weeks James short notes years ago and you know he knew Martin Gilbert way back then and I knew of him from Martin Gilbert but now I don't know him at some point we'll have to arrange for you to me that he and I talked British politics on this coast and you and I talked on the on the east coast I think it's edifying for Americans to know about it because we are derived from this system but our framers did not want this system and in a not show Larry why did we not want a parliamentary democracy in America well you you you the the source of the parliamentary democracy in America is not like the source of government as her in Britain is not like the source of government because Chrissy developed out of monarchy right it took a long time yeah and you know they had to cut the head off king and depose another one but eight the king had the authority and then the yeah the first parliamentary gestures were the lord's Steve strong Merrin who also controlled land having you know a body to get together and talk and advise the king and then you know the society grew and they included the common people didn't want to be involved well we didn't you know you couldn't you know there was I mean look first well in in Britain the first election in which everybody every adult voted in Britain was nineteen twenty eight that is pretty remarkable yeah and and and and and it is it is eighteen seventy five they were still narrow franchises and rotten boroughs which means boroughs that nobody lives in and so that lord who controls the borough gets to really appointed member of parliament so there was you know in other words they came to all of this after we did and and you know well after and then so they're developing along the it's called pathway evolution they go in a different direction but our framers do not want the executive mixed up with the legislature and and that in in that they were right and a and my opinion and they have the and they have the ascent of Winston Churchill who always interpreted the British political system not as Walter Bagehot interprets it you know he cabinet government is his deal and he's the dominating commentator on the British constitution from you know the time he wrote in the late nineteenth century through in nineteen fifty if I just let the church will never went along with that what Churchill thought was we have a system of separation of powers we eat in the house of Commons pick the executive and then we watch their every move like a hawk and we debate them every week and and so everybody realizes cause separation of powers is he is born in the human nature itself according to James Madison in what respect are we not are we all created equal you know not height weight not smart not anything but we're all above the animals and below the angel yes and so we have to have long and those who make the laws also have to be controlled and the first device for doing that is representation the words we have collect them and the second device is the separation of powers and so the founders and absorb that problem you know from great writing you know especially Montesquieu was an inspiration to them on this particular point in that the most important author on the subject and so they wanted to divide the powers well I wanted to do that too and sort of had an interpretation of the British constitution the show that they were divided but when the power changes in Great Britain it is not like the United States it changes completely in the form of a person when a prime minister Paul who is replaced by prime minister that prime minister goes to the head of the table at number ten and what powers do they have Dr well and that's cheery and we we talk about debates the other day that man has been changed by television because what what the prime minister was was the first among equals and that is to say at the end of a you know you know first of all the executive action is delegated to the to the cabin in the cabinet does control what is debated in the house of Commons until the members get mad yeah and it and then they take it back from when that happens commonly by the way they're always worried what the what the members think if you're Winston Churchill and prime ministers he was twice you've got a guy in the parliament in the second premiership it was George Harvey walked and if your travel around the world say you know fight the war he's right news memos every day about what goes on in the house of Commons that day so they are paying attention they have to well it is but it but so what Morey if if this were sixty years ago they would sit down have a cabinet meeting and he would he would have to appoint his cabinet from people who commanded respect in the house of Commons so the air sorry in his party in the house of Commons so that he could be when when about of his party members in the house to be the leader of the party which is what makes you prime minister now quick question the leader of the house of Commons is not the prime minister but he's a member of the government we have a new leader of the house of Commons in Jacob Rees Mogg which is I think a terrific development but to Churchill ever serve as the leader of the house no so it's a one job he did not happen well it it it's yeah and that's saying yeah that that that job it typically is joined with set well back into her to stay at least was joined with some other job you know Anthony Eden was foreign minister and leader of the house of Commons for a time under Churchill so you you you back a lease back in those days you got two jobs and it yeah I don't know if that Jacob Rees Mogg only job I agree with you that that is an inspired choice and on brexit Boris it's been very hard line in his first few days when we come back from break going to talk about what happens when there is a they call it a shuffle this one was called a decapitation and I'm a bigger change in one day than any intraparty swap at number ten has ever seen that's kind of remarkable isn't Larry the mall you know and he he's no respecter of persons for remaining years can't it's at a southern through every academic institution in America what if someone had data toward what if the president could come in and fire everyone in Congress or the president a college could come in and fire everyone and I know of one person who did it Dr Albert Mohler at the southern Baptist theological seminary in Louisville I believe he did it once and I have never heard of it except Boris Johnson last week we come back from break we'll talk about what he did why he did it and what it means for Europe I think it's the greatest thing that has happened to Great Britain since.

Coming up next