I KNOW it’s meant to be a sign that you’re getting old when time seems to fly past more quickly. It was only a couple of weeks ago that I was celebrating Hogmanay and then suddenly this week I thought it was April 1.

After checking my diary, I realised it was just former first minister, Jack McConnell – aka Lord McConnell of Glenscorrodale claiming we had to get rid of the job-for-life culture among MSPs.

Seriously, was he wrapped up in his ermine robe quaffing House of Lords claret in a private dining room when he came out with this?

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According to the socialist peer, MSPs are out of touch with the public and don’t question the Scottish Government enough.

He also claimed there should be a limit on the number of terms a regional list MSP can serve and that potential MSP candidates should choose between standing either as a list candidate or as a constituency candidate.

Lord McConnell bemoaned the practice of having MSPs who fail to get elected in a constituency then sneaking into the Scottish Parliament via the list system.

I hope Kezia Dugdale didn’t take this to heart.

Lord McConnell even stated: “Voters feel distant from politicians and it’s partly because they feel there are too many professional politicians and not enough representatives of people’s ordinary, everyday lives.

“Systems can help correct that and I think anything that helped this Parliament avoid being full of politicians who almost have a job for life would be a good thing.”

The sentiment of what he is saying is something I can only agree with. Politicians should always have to earn their position at every election and throughout their time in office. However, I wonder if his lordship is aware of what the public think of the House of Lords and those who inhabit that place? According to him, MSPs – who have constituency surgeries, are accessible to their constituents via email, phone and even post as well as working in a Parliament in Edinburgh – are out of touch. Did he have a complete irony bypass before making this comment? If MSPs are out of touch then what does that say about the political retirees, donors and flotsam and jetsam of the House of Lords?

If Lord McConnell is serious about getting rid of politicians who do have a job for life then I look forward to his resignation from the House of Lords.

Along with about 800 colleagues, Lord McConnell sits in one of the largest legislative assemblies in the world outside of China. It costs about £100 million a year to run and official figures even revealed that the Lords receives £1.3 million from the public purse to subsidise the restaurants, cafes and bars – not exactly the same as the food banks that an increasing number of families in Scotland have to rely on.

For Lord McConnell to attack any group of democratically elected politicians while sitting on the red benches of the unelected House of Lords courtesy of his service to the Labour Party is beyond parody.

No member of the public votes on who enters the House of Lords, no-one gets a chance to vote them out if they are unhappy with what they are doing – or more likely not doing – and, of course, there is even no chance of peers retiring.

This wholly unrepresentative body has an average age of 70 (the UK average age is 38 for men and 40 for women), with only two peers under the age of 40 but 29 over the age of 90! The existence of the House of Lords, where a privileged unelected elite can decide over legislation affecting everyone, highlights a large democratic deficit in the UK.

Lord McConnell’s party has had numerous terms in office, during which they could have tackled this issue, yet they never bothered to make a serious attempt to replace the Lords with a directly elected chamber.

Governments should always be placed under scrutiny in a healthy democracy, and complacency should never be rewarded. However, I must ask where this desire for forensic scrutiny was when Labour were in power, both at Westminster and Holyrood? McConnell’s comments are only the latest attempt by Labour to criticise bitterly the current hard-earned success of the SNP.

This is all part of Labour’s constant moan-a-thon with the Scottish public. When Labour were winning elections everything was fine, when Labour MPs were handing down their seats to their family – no problem. But now the SNP are winning elections through dedication and determination across the length and breadth of Scotland, Labour are claiming we are living in a one-party state?

The constant negativity from Labour reveals they have nothing left to offer. They have long lost their way when it comes to Scottish politics and are drifting further into oblivion with every election.