Monday, 5 December 2016

The unelected

A lot of politicians and commentators seem to be very cross about the idea that people who have never been elected might have some say in important decisions about the nation's future. I'm a bit depressed to see the independent judiciary being attacked for simply doing its job, (interpreting and enforcing the existing law), but at least it's slightly cheering to know that there are people out there who, though confused, are seemingly so passionate about democracy.

Unfortunately this passion for the will of the people seems to be a bit selective in some cases. This, for example, is what Jacob Rees-Mogg was thinking in November:
North East Somerset MP Jacob Rees-Mogg believes adding nearly 1,000 Brexit-supporting peers in the House of Lords would speed up the negotiation process between the UK and the European Union.

Mr Rees-Mogg, who backed the Brexit campaign ahead of June's referendum, also believes Article 50 would be voted out of Parliament...

...Speaking to the Daily Mail Mr Rees-Mogg, whose constituency includes areas such as Bathampton and Keynsham said: "I think most MPs accept the will of the people and will vote for Article 50.

"If that turns out to be wrong, it's definitely a matter of confidence and there would have to be a general election.

"If the Lords was obstructive we would just have to create 1,000 peers."
Jacob's modest proposal would leave us with a parliament made up of 650 people who were elected* and around 1,820 unelected peers. Because making sure that the people we voted for are outnumbered more than two to one by unelected, titled, appointees is what taking back control from an unaccountable elite looks like, apparently.

*or 600, if the people who want to slim down the elected chamber get their way.