This is a critical moment for democracy in this country. We are in the midst of a structural, political and moral crisis - and an election campaign conducted under an obsolete and dysfunctional electoral system, unable to reflect the results of the multi-party country we have become, now expressed differently in the four parts of the United Kingdom. The aftermath of the Scottish referendum is reverberating powerfully.  

Unlock Democracy is facilitating a debate during the anniversary year of Magna Carta, at a critical moment for democracy in the UK.  It centres on governance, rights and freedoms; quality of governance; the subjection of the executive to the rule of law; the protection of human rights. These are all matched against three key principles deriving from Magna Carta. 

David Beetham and Stuart Weir, former partners in the Democratic Audit at the University of Essex, have drafted the following statement on our behalf, to provoke debate. It draws on current Unlock Democracy campaigns and policies as well as wider issues and challenges for our democracy. We welcome contributions to that debate which will shape our thinking, as we draw up a post-election declaration of intent.

Unlock Democracy has joined with others in calling for an inclusive and deliberative Constitutional Convention to settle devolution throughout the UK and to lay the ground for a reformed state under a new written constitution.  The debate we are initiating around Magna Carta will be crucial in informing such a process.  Let us know what you think in the comments below.

Download "Rule Britannia" here.