Today I happened to tune in the telly to a live session of a Commons Select Committee dealing with a Defence issue - the Chinook C3 contract (about which I know nothing, but those being interviewed by the Committee were the experts - the PUS, Sir Bill Jeffrey, Chief of Defence Materiel General Sir Kevin OâDonoghue and Lieutenant General A C Figgures, Deputy Chief Of Defence Staff (Equipment Capability)). Thoroughly boring stuff to someone long departed from things military, but I soon perked up when one of the members quoted an anonymous writer on an "army website" in his question to the three named officials. Up to that point, and subsequently, during questioning by other members, there was a lot of huffing and blowing about whether Boeing or the Ministry was at fault for what has been, apparently, a catastrophic contractual cockup. Richard Bacon MP quoted at length from the unnamed website, using the straightforward language used therein ("I wouldn't put it like that", said the PUS), the gist being that the MoD project team had had its' head firmly up its backside for the duration of the contract's life, resulting in an extremely poor return for taxpayers' money and a squadron of duff choppers sitting in a hangar for seven years (After a pointed question or two, it was admitted that nobody had been sacked for the ballsup). The contextual ins and outs of it all are of great interest to many here, I'm sure, but what gripped me was the extent of the influence that an anonymous poster on a website (who knew what he was writing about) exerted over a particularly important element of our parliamentary institutions; those officials (including a couple of very quick Generals) were put firmly on the spot, and the results of that session I have no doubt were strongly moved by the quotes put up by Bacon. I haven't found the relevant post on ARRSE (it might be elsewhere, of course), but it all says to me that the nature of British parliamentary democracy is being changed and improved by the likes of ARRSE, which isn't abridged by a Letters Page sub-editor or censored by a grey Ministry man with a rubber stamp. Long may it be so.