The Distortion of Democracy – Scotsman Article – 21 April 2022


Boris Johnson’s regime is more and more akin to a kleptocracy. Elected not to improve the nation but instead enhance the wealth and privilege of its members and its core of powerful supporters. 

The abuse evident in the unwillingness of so many cabinet members to declare whether they’ve non domiciled status. A simple question you might think in a party where grandees in years gone by often epitomised noblesse oblige. Not this lot where it’s contracts for friends and self-enrichment for themselves.

But they’re getting away with it and this British distortion of democracy allows it. The absence of a written constitution and power entrenched in an executive likewise fuel it. Partygate showing the failure of a system where there’s few checks and balances and little opportunity to challenge wrongdoing in office. 

In most walks of life and especially in democratic societies breaking the law is a NO NO. Out would go the Minister, impeached or otherwise hounded out. A bowling club let alone a PLC would see those in office forced out and a failure to do so see immediate challenge. 

Instead, the systems being manipulated. It’s not random chance that saw the news break when Parliaments in recess. The Metropolitan Police are a highly political service as evidenced by this. Many a celebrity let alone punter would have welcomed an optimum time to be punished or fined, but instead unparalleled latitude was given here.

Similarly, having pulled a favour from an institution that should know better, Johnson then abuses the parliamentary system by ducking out of an immediate calling to account. Hiding behind a broad statement isn’t parliamentary accountability. Jetting off to India’s an evasion of his duty to being open to scrutiny and question at PMQs, nothing to do with boosting the economy. 

This kleptocracy are hollowing out democracy. Valiant efforts to roll back their excesses in the House of Lords or hold them to account in the Supreme Court are proving totally insufficient. The system was flawed to begin with but is now being abused from within. 

The UK is a democracy but it’s a distortion of what’s meant to be.