The Constitution Committee took evidence yesterday as part of its current inquiry into referendums. We heard from Peter Facey, of Unlock Democracy, and Peter Kellner, of YouGov, and then from Stuart Weir, of the Democratic Audit, and Baroness Kennedy of the Shaws, who is undertaking a study of deliberative democracy. What was interesting, and unexpected, was the degree of scepticism about referendums. Only Peter Facey offered uncritical support.
Baroness Kennedy explained what she was doing, at some length and with some enthusiasm. There was little or no opportunity to interrupt. She is, among other things, a distinguished QC. After the session, I asked a senior lawyer whether, when Baroness Kennedy was in court, the opposing counsel ever got a chance to get a word in edgeways. ‘Oh no’, he said, ‘and neither does the judge!’