In September this year the Defence Committee published its Sixth Report on the Defence Implications of Possible Scottish Independence – a fascinating read for those with the time to so do.
The Conclusion of this report contain a very damning charge where the education of the public are concerned, especially on matters of great importance (although obviously the degree of importance should not matter). From the Conclusion:
The people of Scotland and the rest of the UK deserve to be presented with as full a picture as possible of the implications of Scottish independence for their future defence and security. To date, the information published by both the Scottish Government and UK Government falls far short of requirements.
Let us take that assertion by the Defence Committee that the people of this country deserve to be presented with as full a picture as possible – and let us apply that assertion to other matters.
Do not we, the people, deserve to be presented with as full a picture on our membership of the European Union? In which case one has to ask why this is not happening. Why will not our political elite admit that full membership of the European Union is not necessary to access the Single Market – and why will not they acknowledge that the Norway Option exists? As is shown in this paper, Norway by no means is a ‘fax-democracy and has just as much voice in the formation of legislation as the EU.
If we, the people, are to have a Review of the balance of Competences where the European Union is concerned – I refer to that being produced by William Hague – do not we, the people, deserve a fair review and not the biased effort so far provided?
If we, the people, have to suffer the present system of ‘faux-democracy’ under which we are governed; should not we, the people, have the right to demand that political parties stick to manifesto commitments? Take for example the promise of ‘recall’ of MPs. In the ‘Coalition – a programme for government’, were we not promised (page 27): We will bring forward early legislation to introduce a power of recall, allowing voters to force a by-election where an MP is found to have engaged in serious wrongdoing and having had a petition calling for a by-election signed by 10% of his or her constituents. What in fact resulted was a system in which fellow Parliamentarians of the accused would have the final decision – something not mentioned in the manifesto. While on this subject, think back to the last Government and their proposals in respect of the smoking ban and pubs – that which resulted was entirely different to that which had been proposed.
I have been accused – in the nicest possible manner – by commenters that I apologise far too much; but I must so do again for mounting my current hobby horse. The foregoing is not democracy!
Where a system exists in which, during a fixed term, a government can pass any law it likes, against which the people have no method of rejection; when a government can practice censorship, to whatever degree, then the result can only produce tyranny.
To their everlasting shame, the people of the UK appear resigned to waving goodbye to democracy and seem content to accept tyranny.