I’VE written about the archaic House of Lords on a few occasions and each time I think there’s not much more you can say about this undemocratic institution at the heart of the UK political system. A debating chamber that relies on the presence of worn-out former MPs and donors to the main UK political parties – when they bother to turn up for their £300 per day tax-free allowance – and where not one member has been voted into office by the public is a sham and a disgrace in any country that claims to be a democracy.

The public is allowed to vote to decide who runs our councils, the Scottish Parliament and even the House of Commons but we have no say whatsoever on who sits on the red benches of the House of Lords.

Since September 2014, Tory politicians have been spouting the line about how we all had to accept the result of the independence referendum. The people had spoken. Only a few weeks ago we had the snap UK General Election which saw the Tories lose their majority and Theresa May flirting with the DUP to retain power. The people had spoken.

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Yet now, after realising the calibre of the new Tory MPs elected in Scotland wasn’t quite what Tory HQ were after, they bring forward a plan to install one of their MEPs in the House of Lords and anoint him as a Tory minister in the Scotland Office. The only problem for those of us who believe in democratic politics was that this MEP was a failed Tory candidate at the General Election. The people have spoken – but the Tories aren’t listening.

Ian Duncan lost out in one of the Tories’ top target seats of Perth and North Perthshire against the SNP’s Pete Wishart. Admittedly, it was a bit closer than expected, with only 21 votes between the two candidates but, under the first-past-the-post system, there are no prizes for second place – or there wasn't until this week, at any rate.

Duncan was already being lined up as a lackey for David Mundell in the Scotland Office, so his failure to be elected meant a change in the Tory plans. Instead of respecting the result of the election, the Tories simply ignored the inconvenience of the wishes of the voters of Perth and North Perthshire and plan to offer Duncan a peerage and a place in the House of Lords. That’s what the Tories think of democracy and respecting the result of an election!

Where is the Tory chorus of complainers decrying Scottish nationalists for not respecting the result of the referendum? Have they suddenly taken a collective vow of silence as their party tramples over the wishes of the Perth and North Perthshire electorate?

The existence of the House of Lords allows UK governments to simply appoint ministers without having to bother with taking into account the views of voters. Such a move undermines the already fragile idea of the UK being a real democratic country while the House of Lords exists.

Let’s not forget that all the legislation that comes from the UK Government and MPs in the House of Commons must pass through the Lords: they have real power to influence, amend, and alter the laws we all have to obey. They are handpicked political cronies who don’t have to worry about being elected or even being kicked out when they perform poorly – it’s a secure job for life with no danger of redundancy or the sack.

But even this move hasn’t turned out to be straightforward for the Tories as they face an internal battle over who takes over from Duncan as their sole MEP. Under the voting system for the European Parliament, political parties put forward a ranked list of candidates, meaning that as each party gets enough votes, the top names become MEPs. Each party’s list is decided by its members voting to rank the candidates in their preferred order. If any MEP resigns, retires, or leaves parliament for any other reason the next name on the list becomes an MEP. It’s similar to the way the regional list works in the Scottish Parliament.

This seems straightforward enough – but not for the Tories. It turns out the future MEP preferred by Ruth Davidson was fifth on the Tory’s list. Since Duncan was the only Tory elected as an MEP, there were a few other candidates between Duncan and the No 5 choice.

These candidates were simply sidelined and with that the views of Tory members were ignored when it came to their preference for who should be elected. It looks like the second-placed candidate has threatened legal action to ensure that she inherits the sole Scottish Tory MEP spot, creating a bit of trouble for Ruth Davidson.

It’s hardly surprising the Tories are ignoring the views of their own members when they have a similar contempt for the voters of Perth and North Perthshire by installing a failed Tory candidate as a minister.