British Democracy is Nothing to Celebrate

Those of the Vote Leave side in the referendum regularly tout the importance of British democracy relative to the supposed unaccountability of the EU elites. They say that you can fire a government here, unlike in Brussels. However, this kind of rubbish is patently false when looking at the actual structures present in British government. The most important and powerful structures are the civil service and the range of quangos which decide on the regulatory mechanisms that are applied in the EU. Those effected by such mechanisms have no real say, as members of these committees and groups are appointed by governments.

And those governments are not accountable to the British people. Simply voting in one set of fools for another is no sign of accountability, but rather a sham of such things. Members of Parliament are usually selected by their central party committees, placed on lists and then parachuted into constituencies where they have very little experience or knowledge. I should know, I interned with one, Lucy Allan, MP for Telford. She was originally a councillor in Wandsworth, London but was pushed into Telford (in the West Midlands) by the central party groups of the Conservative Party. While sitting as MPs, the only way to vote one out is at a general election. There is no recall mechanism as a result of MPs voting against it. And even voting one out doesn’t make much difference. Due to the dominance of neoliberal ideology since the 1970s, the major parties of the UK have developed a coalescence on major policy, with both parties supporting central banking, rigged capitalist markets, capital-intensive infrastructure projects and subsidised multinationals.

When any of the individuals in this system do a bad job (which is quite often) there is zero accountability. Recently the MOD was found to have given over billions of pounds to a company that went bust over 5 years ago. HMRC has been regularly found to give favourable rates to subsidised multinationals. HS2 is an extremely wasteful infrastructure project that presents very little direct benefit except to vested interests who favour capital-intensive economies of scale which suck more business into London and away from deprived economies in the North and Midlands. Surely these are all examples of bad jobs being done. Yet no one was really fired. There may have been some demotions and restructuring of departments and committees. But in no way could these people be brought before a committee of civil society or a common law court.

As I said, the only people these bureaucrats and groups are accountable to are cabinet ministers and MPs, many of whom are in safe seats or on parliamentary lists which mean there political power is assured and voters have very little say. There is no reason to celebrate British democracy. British democracy is the reason for powers being taken away from local communities and sovereign individuals. It is the reason we are in the EU, NATO, the UN and many other stupid, anachronistic bodies. It is the reason for unnecessary infrastructure projects (motorways and the Beeching cuts), for the dominance of economistic interests and for mass immigration. The only part of British government that does any good is the House of Lords, the non-democratic part. They have pushed against regressive welfare reforms, against the attempted destruction of our civil liberties, against immigration and against HS2. As Peter Hitchens has described, the House of Lords is full of intelligent, wise individuals who are considerate and careful in their use of political power, while the House of Commons is stocked full of servile, pathetic individuals who are inconsiderate and foolish. But even now the House of Lords is being stocked full of failed politicians and businessmen.

Thus in actually moving toward an intelligent political settlement, looking at the House of Lords is important (particularly in its pre-reform period). It shows the importance of natural hierarchies of landed, hereditary families who have experience and wisdom. In looking at the House of Commons, it should turn toward the Icelandic model of the 10th century, that of a voluntary parliament where the individual was sovereign and power was ceded through moots and juries. Members of said parliament should be selected by each individual community and neighbourhood. In this sense, men of property and men of character are the most likely candidates, as they can argue the case of their constituencies. Above all this, the right of secession and the need for decentralisation should be paramount. If one does not accept the edicts of parliament, they should be allowed to secede.

This way, both bodies, a House of Lords stocked with men of honour and title, age and wisdom, and a House of Commons with individuals actually representative of their constituencies and accountable at all times, are able to decide legislation when necessary and desired, and convene courts and committees when needed. An Evolian corporate system of natural hierarchies and subsidiarity is developed, replacing the levelling characteristics of modern representative democracy. Everyone has their say, through local incorporated cities, neighbourhood groups, adhoc democratic bodies, trade unions, welfare networks, internet-based bodies, juries and moots, and, when necessary, a voluntary parliament in concert with the landed and royal interests of the realm.

There is nothing to celebrate in British democracy. It is neither democratic nor accountable. Rather, it is the public face of a network of vested interests, unjustly-gained wealth and political patronage. When Vote Leave tells you the EU is undemocratic, you should reply that they are just as bad.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s