I'm fast running out of appropriate adjectives to describe Mary Riddell's scribblings in The Telegraph - ludicrous, ridiculous, preposterous, inane - all of them apply, but none really sums up this piece of garbage satisfactorily.
To be fair, I agree with some of her comments - such as this.
Besides, Parliament, marginalised by Tony Blair, has also had its reputation diminished by forces other than sleaze. The sparsely filled Commons benches resemble a rural station waiting room, circa 1950: Bills, which tend to be pernicious or unnecessary (or both), are so poorly drafted or under-scrutinised (or both) that the legislative process must constantly be salvaged by an upper chamber where reforms have been abandoned.
Well, let's leave the "reforms" for a moment and concentrate on the main point - that the failure of our political system has occurred almost entirely in the elected chamber. Blair did not marginalise Parliament - he marginalised the Commons and, when the Lords refused to play ball, bypassed them by using the Parliament Act indiscriminately.
The Commons benches are empty because there is little for MPs to debate as most of the "pernicious" and/or "unnecessary" Bills originate not from our Parliament but from a foreign organisation which drafts law in secret and is completely unaccountable, but one which Riddell is a keen supporter of - the EU Commission.
Overall, though, Riddell appears to be conceding that the half-reformed Lords is the only bit of Parliament which is more or less working as it ought to - which makes her next statement so ridiculous.
We need an elected House of Lords and a Parliament whose bywords are efficiency, modernity and accountability.
Sooo, her solution to the problem is to take the one bit of Parliament that is working, throw it away then replace it with a model of the one bit which, by her own concession, is failing?
I wonder where she got her inspiration from? The education reforms of the sixties, perhaps?