Letter: How Indonesia compares with the House of Lords

George Parker has a mordant sense of humour (“The aristocrats at the heart of British democracy”, FT Magazine, November 13). When I was the EU’s chief election observer in Indonesia in 2004, I was charged with explaining that the EU did not consider a parliament with 80 or so unelected army officers topping up the elected MPs to be democratic — Indonesia’s election that year was in fact the first occasion the army did not have seats reserved for itself.

One suspects that were the UK to ever seek to rejoin the EU the same question might apply if the UK continues to water down its “democracy” with the products of history, patronage and payment.

Originally published in Financial Times.