The essence of democracy

There is one quality, perhaps above all others, which is essential if a state is to be democratic and that is accountability. Indeed, if corruption is to be avoided and efficient and effective management to survive, this quality is vital in any organisation. Yet increasingly the managerial and political classes have found ways to undermine this principle in order that they personally may benefit and, by so doing, are destroying the foundations upon which our society has been built. In the European Union they have found the perfect mechanism to finally eradicate any vestiges of true democracy in our political system.

There are those who believe that the current mania for out sourcing, off shoring and the breaking up of organisations such as the Civil Service and the railways is intended to somehow make for greater efficiency at less cost but in fact the real desire is to enable incompetent managements or governments to evade responsibility by pointing the finger of blame at the bodies to which they have transferred tasks properly belonging to them. How often do those who have a genuine grievance now find that they constantly receive the answer : "It's not us, you need to speak to them" and are left on a merry go round talking to managers who deny that they are accountable for the problem.

This device is used by the politicians at Westminster, both within the country, when they refer the aggrieved citizens to devolved agencies, and at the European level, where they can now claim that laws and decisions for which they could previously be held to account are now the responsibility of the EU and that the problem must be referred to Brussels. Of course, if one were to attempt to follow this advice one would find that the European Commission and its army of arrogant bureaucrats are actually accountable to no one but a toothless European Parliament whose members are very well paid but whose actual power to change anything is virtually non existent. If this had been the position in the past it would have meant that the permanent secretaries of the British Civil Service would have been able to create laws without fear of scrutiny or control by Parliament. Is it any surprise that the European Commissioners see themselves as the real rulers of the European Union - they are right, they are.

The massive corruption which pervades the EU, and has led to the auditors refusing to sign off the accounts for eleven years in a row, is a result of bureaucrats being freed from accountability, and able to behave as they please, knowing that there is nothing the people can do to stop them.

Without accountability then democracy itself will die. We have seen this so often in the totalitarian dictatorships of the last century, and of this. Unless we withdraw from this undemocratic organisation then soon elections will be nothing but a hollow sham and we will be unable to control those in power.