A Wilderness of Monkeys

Once again proposals are being considered for another elected body, this time a second chamber to replace the House of Lords. An impartial observer might imagine that the nation was becoming ever more democratic, as the time honoured elections for local councils and the Commons have been joined, or are destined to be joined, by so many new voting opportunities, whether it be to the European Parliament, the Celtic Regional Assemblies or the new layer of regional government now being pushed by John Prescott.

However the reality is that, as these new job opportunities for politicians proliferate, our democracy is under attack as possibly never before, something for which the pernicious influence of the European Union is to blame. The European Parliament is not a body which exercises democratic control over the executive, but merely a fig-leaf, a talking shop, which enables petty politicians to strut their little hour upon a wider stage, but which is in truth virtually powerless, having no right to initiate legislation, merely to confirm that placed before them by the bureaucrats of the European Commission, while its members are elected on undemocratic party lists, thus handing power to party apparatchiks to decide who will win. MEPs are only allowed to speak for a maximum of ninety seconds on any subject and their claim to represent constituencies of approaching a million people is a joke, given that not even Hercules could successfully manage such a labour.

The Brussels bureaucrats take full advantage of the lack of any effective scrutiny to perpetuate a flood of directives which then become the law of the land in the UK for, despite promises that our Parliament will oversee such legislation, its volume ensures that this never happens, vast numbers being implemented even during recesses. The proof that the Commons have become effectively redundant can be found in the changes made to hours at Westminster, ostensibly to assist families, but in reality because they have ceded real power to the European Union and are now not much more than a rubber stamp.

The proposed regional assemblies will complete the rout of Westminster, as they will report directly to Brussels, cutting British MPs out of the few remaining areas in which they may still take action. Once again we will see bodies full of career politicians, taking fat salaries and large expense accounts, whose only loyalty will be to party machines, and whose power will be an illusion, as they will be the puppets of the EU. Any similar replacement for the House of Lords will be based on the same principles and become yet another body of the same type.

It is no surprise that the culture of the EU should be government by an unaccountable elite as that is the method used by the French, and the EU is nothing if not a product of the French ruling class. The British however, who painfully evolved a parliamentary democracy, accountable to the people, face electing politicians without power, while those with power are not elected. Any who claim that decisions about the EU, and indeed all constitutional matters, should be left to the politicians are foolish indeed, as the political class, with a few honourable exceptions, are not disinterested guardians of democracy, but have a vested interest in perpetuating the existence of the gravy train for which so many now hold tickets. Unless the people take back the power from what is increasing a parasitical class they will find that it is not just Hartlepool which is represented by a monkey, but everyone.