Room 101

THIS WEEK? Un­elected Lords and Ladies re­ally try my Pa­tience

Midweek Sport - - NEWS -

CHANCES are that you may never have heard of a woman called Pa­tience Wheatcroft.

These days she can be found in the House of Lords but on her way up the greasy pole she was an editor of both The Sun­day Tele­graph and The Wall Street Jour­nal Europe.

In fact, she had the sort of dis­tin­guished ca­reer that most job­bing jour­nal­ists can only dream of, so you would be for­given for think­ing this piece was orig­i­nally writ­ten in green-with-envy ink.

But it wasn’t. The rea­son that Baroness Wheatcroft (as she now is) has got my goat is that she wants the House of Lords to stop the UK leav­ing the Euro­pean Union.

She says she can see a way that the Lords could hold up a Bill if leg­is­la­ture is lodged re­lat­ing to “Ar­ti­cle 50” – the mech­a­nism which will see us freed from the shack­les of the EU once Theresa May pulls her fin­ger out. Now, this will be very good news in­deed to the Re­main­ers – or, as they are also known, the los­ing side of the ar­gu­ment.

But it’s not very good news for democ­racy, is it?

Even the most ar­dent Re­mainer must surely see that de­fy­ing the will of the ma­jor­ity of vot­ers in the EU ref­er­en­dum is go­ing to lead to trou­ble.

Worse still, if the Baroness was to get her way, it would mean the House of Lords – whose mem­bers are elected by pre­cisely no-one – flick­ing two fin­gers up at the elec­torate.

And in that re­gard they’d be do­ing pre­cisely what the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion – again, elected by pre­cisely no-one – has been do­ing to the UK for years.

So what we’re es­sen­tially talk­ing about here is the well-heeled elite who are en­tirely unan­swer­able to the great un­washed do­ing what they al­ways do – which is pretty much what the hell they like.

When peo­ple talk about some imag­i­nary rift in this coun­try post-Brexit, it is nor­mally from the mouths of bit­ter Re­main­ers who refuse to ac­cept the ma­jor­ity ver­dict.

But where there gen­uinely IS a rift is be­tween the rul­ing elites of Brus­sels and West­min­ster and the poor bas­tards who have to pay for their games through taxes or risk go­ing to prison.

Why should a Brex­i­teer who works hard and pays into the pub­lic pot have his or her vote turned on its head by some­one who isn’t even elected into office?

And what would that say for democ­racy in this coun­try? It would say it was smashed.

Baroness Wheatcroft is en­ti­tled to her opin­ion and as a peer she’s en­ti­tled to de­bate it at high office.

But pre­vent­ing a Brexit be­cause she wrin­kles her snooty nose up at the will of the ma­jor­ity of ref­er­en­dum vot­ers is sim­ply not on.

In this case, Pa­tience is def­i­nitely not a virtue.

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