It’s the height of summer and I guess my mind should be running to the state of Britain’s piers – Southend, Brighton, Blackpool every charred Weston Super Mare. Instead of a breezy walk along battered planks my attention turns to the man running the country, Peter Mandelson – a peer of the realm.
This is the man who was twice forced to resign from the government of Tony Blair – men who were soul mates if only in the political sense. A man Blair wanted us to learn to love as he tells us he did.
This is the man who was then sent to Brussels as one of Britain’s EU Commissioners. There he raised many an eyebrow over his political antics and no doubt his snake hips.
Then he is hauled back to Britain by his former arch political enemy – Premier Gordon Brown. Suddenly he is a peer, Business Secretary and the power behind Brown’s tottering throne. In the reshuffle he emerges as deputy prime minister in all but name and the most powerful unelected man in the country.
I believe that the whole basis of being a democracy is that the people elect the government and those ministers should answer to the country both at the House of Commons dispatch box and at the ballot box.
However Mr Mandelson lords it over us in his ermine, sends his minions to face the political fire and is hence accountable to no one except himself.
When Britain gets round to reforming its badly dented political system may one of the first changes be that all ministers should be elected politicians, sit in the House of Commons and have to face the electorate every four years. If the Prime Minister of the day wants advisers, so be it, but only elected MPs should run our country.
In the meantime we have a politically disgraced peer running the country. Very queer!