Hugo Miller’s recent letter ‘Democracy? Don’t make me laugh’ has some pretty funny ways of measuring the EU’s democratic credentials.
His first ‘simple test’ is to ask how many readers can name their MEPs. You could just as well ask how many can name a local or county councillor.
If they can’t, does it mean the UK isn’t a democracy? Of course not, because you are testing knowledge and interest, not democracy.
And how does the UK stack up against Mr Miller’s claims about appointments to senior EU positions?
The appointment of the President of the European Council of Ministers, Mr van Rompuy, was by unanimous agreement of the governments of all 27 member states, surely a more open process than the UK’s way of getting people into the House of Lords to hold top government posts.
And what of Mr Miller’s other bogeymen, the European Commissioners – essentially the EU’s top civil servants?
They have to go through two hoops – first, nomination by the Council of Ministers and then public endorsement (or rejection) by the European Parliament. In contrast, who knows how our senior civil servants are appointed?
On these tests, the EU scores rather better than the UK, so if, as Mr Miller seems to believe, the EU is undemocratic, the UK is even less so. Nice one, Mr Miller!
PS. I note that the letter following Mr Miller’s, headed ‘Worse deal for jobs and growth’, actually argues that staying in the EU would be a better deal for the UK!
Blundel Lane, Stoke D’Abernon, Cobham, Surrey