Saturday, March 12, 2005

Never mind the Middle East... apparently we're fed up with democracy.

I'm confused. I've been listening all this week to Government Ministers complaining about the "unelected and unaccountable" House of Lords. So... just exactly whose fault is it that we've got a House of Lords consisting in its entirety of those who got there on the back of patronage or priviledge. In 2003 the House of Commons rejected proposals by the then Leader of the House, Robin Cook, to reform the Lords and create an all-elected chamber. The elected ones threw out the plans and plumped instead for an appointed "unelected and unaccountable" second chamber, with luminaries such as Gerald Kaufmann stating that the voters were "already fed up with electing." This from the Mother of Parliaments that lectures the world on democracy. Of course, the cynical amongst you might think that the elected ones might prefer an appointed system so that when they didn't get their way they could challenge the mandate of the second chamber by calling them "unelected and unaccountable."