by Colin Fox
There they sit; Lords Mandelson, Adonis, Sugar, Malloch-Brown, Drayson and Baronesses Royal and Scotland, seven peers of the realm whose allegiance is to the Queen, not the people, now centre stage in the Labour Cabinet.
This Government is a caricature of a Britain long gone, a vivid testament to how Labour has abandoned its founders. The first vote passed at the first Labour conference in 1900 was to abolish the House of Lords.
In 2009 Labour depends on it to rule the people.
Amid the severest economic crisis in 80 years and with the European elections providing irrefutable proof that Labour has no democratic mandate, it must be a great comfort to the British establishment and its ever loyal Labour Party that they can always rely on unaccountable, unelected feudal relics to help govern the country.
These seven Ministers sit in the Cabinet without fear of an electorate of any kind and provide Gordon Brown’s life jacket as HMS New Labour plunges into the murky depths.
Those who expect anything meaningful from Gordon Browns vaunted plans for Constitutional Reform should take note. Packing the Cabinet with unelected peers, representative of no-one and answerable to no-one – and not averse to fiddling the public purse themselves – is not just an affront to democracy, it typifies New Labour through and through.
The French, who hosted the 65th anniversary of the Normandy landings last week and were upbraided by the right wing in Britain for not inviting the Queen to lead the parade of militarism – as Head of the Armed Forces – were by all accounts howling with laughter at the idea they should need the permission of a Monarch. After all the French solved that particular problem centuries ago.
And lest we here in Scotland think its only those south of the border who are being ridiculed internationally may wish to consider the scene to be acted out in Edinburgh next week as The Queen formally presides over the 10th anniversary of ‘her’ Scottish Parliament. Her Scots ‘subjects’ will be expected to bend the knee and tug our collective forelocks.
In 2004 when she arrived to ‘officially open’ the new Holyrood Parliament amid sycophantic pomp and democratic affrontery the Scottish Socialist Party took to the hills. Calton Hill in Edinburgh city centre to be precise, to proclaim our belief in a modern democratic republic. We look forward to a Scotland without feudal monarchs, without divine rights for Kings and Queens, without all our hospitals and civic institutions being ‘Royal’, where the people are citizens not ‘subjects’ and where our democracy is not ‘protected’ by unelected Lords of the Treasury, Lords Privy Seal, Lords President, Lords Chancellor and Barons or Baronesses.
The Scottish Socialist Party stands for a modern democratic republic. Our guiding principles are egalitarianism and democracy, not class hierarchies and feudalism.