From Mr Donal Ó Brolcáin.

Sir, Surely, only a root and branch overhaul of Britain’s way of governing itself would meet Richard Lambert’s call for a “permanent top-level political mechanism for setting strategic direction and overseeing implementation of essential policy priorities, supported by proper planning processes and clear accountabilities”? (“The UK’s energy policy stands in the way of growth”, Comment, February 21.)

Perhaps it is time for a British debate on a complete separation of powers between the parliament as legislature and the government as executive as outlined by Lord Turnbull in your columns (“Why we need separation of powers”, June 3 2009). Reinforcing that with a voting system that fairly reflects citizens’ preferences is probably completely out of order after the recent referendum. Formalising checks and balances in a written constitution is possibly too new a tradition for Britain to adopt just yet. Swiss-style direct democracy on all legislation including the constitution, with referendums up to four times per year, would certainly clarify accountabilities.

Inherited or created autocracies might also meet his requirements, for a time. When you think about it, the EU governing structures bore a remarkable similarity to what he calls for, prior to the European parliament being directly elected.

Donal Ó Brolcáin, Dublin 9, Ireland

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