We all live in a democracy

It has been an interesting week in the letters column, with strength of feeling running high, over the Longboat issue and over the proposed �3 million expenditure in Exmouth, to destroy the Strand Gardens

It has been an interesting week in the letters column, with strength of feeling running high, over the Longboat issue and over the proposed �3 million expenditure in Exmouth, to destroy the Strand Gardens

I was first drawn to Mr Morris's effusive letter and his claims that reports commissioned by the ECA and the ERA were "ignored by the council" and his level of surprise that none of the proposals involved the pedestrianisation of Rolle Street.

Nowhere, however, does he question what remit the council has to destroy something that was left to Exmouth by Lady Rolle in 1934, or, under what remit his unelected posse feel that they have the right to dictate to others within the town and its environs.

Similarly, in Budleigh Salterton, we have the "anti-Longboat brigade", decrying anyone who dares to not agree with them and lambasting councillors Franklin and Florey for their support of the plans.


You may also want to watch:


Both of these situations, seem to show admirably how "small town mentality Britain works today". We have a situation, where thanks to the brave sacrifice of our forebears, we are lucky to live in a democracy. Every few years, we have elections and as "free and right-minded people" we have a choice to vote for our fellows to represent us at both a local and national level and it is to these people we hand a mandate to act on our behalf.

As is clearly illustrated though, there are those people that do not wish to live in a democracy!

Most Read

They are people who consider democracy to be "akin to a pair of gloves". One can take them off and put them on at will.

Alas, it does not work like that and these unelected rabble-rousers seem unable to grasp that, without democracy, we live in a Fascist society, where he or she with the loudest voice or the most muscle, can walk over the weak and frail.

Whilst, I am not against disagreement in any peaceful form, I have written enough letters to express an opinion over the years, it is the power that these unelected groups seem to think they should hold that concerns me.

If they feel that they represent a mass of people, then join the democratic process. Stand as councillors or as MPs and put your alleged mandate to the vote. Let your popularity be judged at the ballot box, not the soapbox!

We are seeing an enormous rise at national level, of unelected pressure groups. Many of which give the impression of being independent arbiters of public opinion, yet who are trying to steer government policy in the direction those who fund them want.

At local levels we are also seeing a rise in unelected pressure groups, which wish to change local decisions that have been made within a democratic framework.

Let us not lose sight of what it is that makes democracy, or what passes as democracy in this country.

For, to continually attack its processes is to weaken it and then, perhaps, lose it altogether.

Then what would happen? Anarchy?

Ian R Woolger,

16 Otter Court,

Budleigh Salterton.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter