Naïve claims about what democracy looks like

ReformOver the last few days two people who are from both the main UK political parties, albeit as ex-Councillors have argued that the EU is deeply undemocratic and they have pointed to the Commission and in particular Jean-Claude Juncker as their main focus in their arguments. I chose to respond to the Tory, a person I know reasonably well by pointing out how strong the unelected portion of the current Tory Cabinet is. His response was to question if I had time to waste due to the fact I had taken the time to list each of them (by their real names). The list is below:

  • Martin Callanan
  • Susan Williams
  • Tariq Ahmad
  • Fred Curzon
  • James O’Shaugnessy
  • Richard Keen
  • Oliver Eden
  • Nicholas Bourne
  • Rona Fairhead
  • Theodore Agnew
  • John Gardiner
  • Liz Sugg
  • Ian Duncan
  • Peta Buscombe
  • Michael Bates
  • Thomas Ashton

On top of the fact that none of these people were elected and all of them are Ministers who make potentially significant decisions on our behalf was the debate about the behaviour of Juncker. I pointed out to my friend that Juncker’s attitude towards Theresa is not any worse than that of at least 48, if not 117 of her own MPs. His view was that those who chose to speak out like Jacob RM and Baker are accountable to their electors who are in a position to get rid of them. Now the truth is that local voters could vote for their opponents to get rid of the Tory candidates, but really only members of their parties can achieve that in many cases. In Steve’s case his constituency has been represented by a Tory since 1885 when it was won over from the whigs with three brief blips which between them cover 10 years in that 133 year period. In the case of Jacob his constituency was formed in 2010 and it has been a Tory one since then.

Last night on Any Questions Peter Bone claimed that the vote in the referendum was a form of delegation and because of that it was not possible to revisit the decision. Now of course not only was he lying because the referendum was clearly intended to advise Parliament, not replace Parliament but in any case if the public now want another vote which many hundreds of thousands now do, we are entitled to demand this. The truth is that even though many people claim we are the mother of democratic nations, that when I vote for an MP or a Councillor every 4-5 years, I am presented with a rosette rather than a person and my decision has absolutely no bearing on what policies including referenda will be adopted, on who will run our nation. Although Jean Claude was appointed by a small group of national leaders he is no more or less accountable than any of the people on the list above, or Peter Bone or indeed Ian or Ed where when they were elected. What is needed is a very different approach to communities if we are to claim that we are part of a real democracy.

About ianchisnall

I am passionate about the need for public policies to be made accessible to everyone, especially those who want to improve the wellbeing of their communities. I am particularly interested in issues related to crime and policing as well as health services and strategic planning.
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