“Monty Python’s Parrot”

“The democratic process works -or does it?

If a developer takes his case to appeal and wins, even though a whole village – perhaps over 1000 signatories to a petition are against the development – the parish council, the district council and the county council have all objected, the democratic due process has been followed, nonetheless, and the development goes ahead.

In another case, however, thousands of people, nearly every parish council in the county and the county council object to a development. The cabinets of two district councils however do not object, but the due democratic process, as laid down by the democratically elected government, has been followed so the objections of the majority are upheld.

The democratic process appears to be fit and thriving.

But, hang-on a minute! The government is satisfied with outcome of the first case, even though the electorate were not. The government, however, does not like the outcome of the second case so they decide to change the rules in order to exclude the county council and the parish councils and leave the decision making to the district councils alone; those who would give the government the decision they, the government, want. Can that be right?

Sorry, but democracy appears to have gone the way of the Monty Python’s parrot.”

Janet S, Blencogo, Cumbria

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