A referendum on proportional representation to take over from first-past-the-post? A fully or mostly elected House of Lords/Senate? Could it be true?
The question it must boil down to though is – will this all be scuppered because it’s being presented by the wrong man? The tabloids will quickly discredit AV+ as the means by which Nick Griffin could enter the Westminster parliament, and I don’t see where the breakthrough will come in reforming the House of Lords. Robin Cook’s attempts at reform were all tragically rebuffed, and again – with a Prime Minister with so little authority, how is this going to make it through the House of Commons?
If this is going to work, Brown and his new Lord and Master Mandelson will have to realise the political focus has shifted from the expenses scandal and onto Brown himself. Handled wrongly both moves will look self-serving and will sadly (but understandably) be trashed. I’d say if both issues are genuinely now on the table, much will depend on who the messenger is. Ed Miliband’s turn to shine? Or Alan Johnson’s? And just what does Johnson think of ID cards and superdatabases?