Monday, March 15, 2010

Repeating myself (1)

I know that I keep repeating myself on this blog, but I'm not going to make any apologies for doing so. The reason is simple - first of all, the same issues keep coming up in the news and secondly, most of the people I talk to still don't get the points I'm trying to make.

So here I go again.

Making the Upper House an elected chamber will not make Britain more "democratic". If all democracy was about was having lots of elections then the Soviet Union would have been one of the most democratic nations this world has ever seen. It wasn't. What makes a democracy is an electoral system which gives the people a real choice in their representative assembly (we have no choice now - just three parties with the same policies) backed by a constitution that prevents politicians - elected or not - from abusing the power they have.

Nu Labour have already done much to remove the constitutional barrier through a series of changes that amount to nothing less than constitutional vandalism. If they are allowed to remove the only barrier that remains in the House of Lords - and a pretty weak one it is at that after the changes they have already made - then there will be nothing left to prevent that abuse of power by some future government.

An elected second chamber - if it happens to reflect the makeup of the first chamber - increases the likelihood of that happening even more. Even if Labour's intentions are good (debatable) then there is nothing to suppose that all future governments intentions will be.

There have been almost as many versions of democracy tried as there are nations over the centuries - none worked better than the British system. It's why we have avoided the extremism and conflicts that have taken in place in so many of those other "democratic" nations - particularly in Europe. We should never forget that Hitler came to power quite legitimately - and that he could never have done so in Britain. Why on earth would we want to change our proven and successful system for a European model which has repeatedly failed?

Don't say you weren't warned. No - I don't mean that I warned you - the warnings are there in history. Ignore them at your peril, but don't ever say that you didn't know.

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