Young Wayne over on Central News does a sterling job keeping tabs on the various nonsense from our various councils up and down the country as well as on the slightly more sinister aspects of our own government.
One of his recent posts about the ongoing dismantling of our parliamentary democracy got me commenting - and as comments go, I was pretty pleased with it, so I thought I'd inflict the gist of it on the readers of Ranting Stan!
Basically, it comes back to the House of Lords and the plans to make this an all elected chamber - something which I am hugely opposed to. There are a few reasons for this - not least because I have little trust in people who are involved in mainstream party politics to put the needs of the country above the wants of their party.
I know a lot of people like to think of the Lords as a bunch of freeloading posh gits who've never done a days work in their lives. I don't doubt that this may apply to some - or even many - of them, but to me they strike me as remarkably able and dedicated people who have a genuine love and interest in this nation of ours, it's history, tradition and values. Something which I do not believe can be said of the MP's who strike me as being mostly guided by self-interest and ideology.
Even so, most people seem to think having a directly elected House of Lords (or whatever name they call it) would be a good thing. This is because they equate "elected" with "democracy".
What so many fail to realise is that the only thing that prevents a democratic government becoming totalitarian is the rule of law. The single most important aspect of which is the prevention of government - however it came to power - from exercising arbitrary power.
We've already seen this government introduce measures which undermine that - such as indiscriminate use of the Parliament Act to force through unimportant and largely token legislation and the outrageously undemocratic Civil Contingencies Bill.
Their "reform" of the Lords to make it more "democratic" will only ensure that the Lords will become nothing more than a rubber stamp and the last bulwark FOR democracy against a plebiscitarian dictatorship will be gone.
Now some will argue that even though the USA has an elected second chamber, it does not show any signs of becoming totalitarian (some would say it already is, but they are mad people). This is because the USA has a written constitution which prevents that from happening - although, in theory, that Constitution could be amended and the checks and balances removed. Britain does not have a formal constitution and little consideration is given to that which is written anyway.
What can not be denied about the US system though, is that it can leave the government either too powerful if both houses are dominated by one party or becoming moribund when one party dominates the Senate and the other Congress. Neither is a good situation to have.
This is the most serious constitutional discussion we've had in Britain since the Civil War and our idiot press ignore it - preferring to witter on about Jade Goody's tits or David Beckham's tattoos.
What a state!