Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Time to mimic the new Sark Lark?

In the days when the Labour government was sceptical about House of Lords reform (now it's not sceptical, it's just sloooow), the late Lord Williams of Mostyn routinely did a sterling job of defending the indefensible. One of his favourite lines of argument was that in America all sorts of public officials - including judges but also even less probable office-holders - are elected. But the fact that most other countries failed to follow that example didn't mean they were less democratic - not every single public position needs to be elected in a democracy, he would say. True enough. But in a parliamentary democracy, it is surely rather essential for the entirety of parliament to be elected.

You can read my new article on the urgent need for Lords reform here. My (slightly mischievous) starting-point is that Britain could learn a thing or two about democracy from Sark!

Also still available to read is another article I wrote nine months ago about the predicament of the Labour party. I thought for a little while in the autumn that the second 'Brown bounce' might have rendered my central conclusion questionable, but not anymore!

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