Sunday, June 06, 2010

Dissolution Dishonours (The Abstractions of Democratic Reform - Part 2)

I should probably have posted this earlier, but the internet connection at the Booth/Leach residence is knackered ...

The latest Honours List has prompted my usual tutting, sneering and giggling. The 'Dissolution Honours' includes such names as John Prescott, John Reid, Michael Howard and Ian Blair. Floella Benjamin enters the Lords after a career in children's TV, though I'm not sure whether that is Big Ted and Jemima sat next to her on the leather benches or her fellow LibDem peers. And ex-student activists of a certain age will titter at the entrance to aristocratic honour of one Maeve Sherlock, past President of the National Union of Students.

Funny, I thought that it was now a matter of political consensus that an unelected chamber of Parliament is an undemocratic anachronism which should be replaced by an elected body. But while our elected politicians drag their political feet in actually implementing what they say they believe (presumably because cuts in public services absolutely must be the priority), there is an unholdy rush of those who apparently don't believe in seats of unelected power giving unelected seats to their political allies who also do not believe in seats of unelected power. What a sickening spectacle.

My late Uncle Albert refused a seat in the Lords after he lost his seat in the Commons, for the simple reason that he did not believe he should have power without having been elected. Down the years, a fair few labour movement luminaries have taken the same stand. But evidently, the acceptable alternative is to say one thing, and do the complete opposite.