That Britain has a distorted electoral system that allows for a majority government to be formed out of a minority of the enfranchised population, is well known. Or put in another way, a political party may command a majority in the House of Commons when a majority of the enfranchised population did not vote for it. Party discipline exercised by the Prime Minister and enforced through his party whips will usually ensure that the Government will obtain sufficient legislative support from its back-bench MPs. Domination of the legislature by way of executive fiat is more subtely exercised through the Standing Orders of the Commons over which the English Courts have no jurisdiction. Chief among these is Standing order 14 which allows the government to control what may or may not be debated in Parliament, regardless of the support (or lack of it) it may muster for any particular issue. By controlling the business agenda of the Commons the Government may strangle at birth any debate or vote on issues which may have provoked large amounts of constituency letters to an MP who wishes to raise the issue or matters on which the government is likely to receive no support or otherwise wishes to keep out of the public domain. Each Thursday, the leader of the House of Commons sets out the Agenda for Government business in the House. Under Standing Order 14, the governmentâs business will have priority over every sitting of Parliament with the exception of 20 opposition days and 13 private member bills days. Here, however, the Government will decide what will be debated and how much time it will allocate. There exists no redress if the government fails to allocate the correct number of days. Neither does there exist any mechanism for securing a general debate on miscellaneous issues the opposition may wish to raise or vote upon. It is irrelevant therefore how many millions of constituents fill the postbags of constituency MPs over any issue which they feel strongly, it cannot be raised, let alone voted upon in Parliament, in the absence of agreement by the Government. In other words, the executive have complete control over what is raised and what is voted upon. Executive power of those elected to represent their constituents is quite considerable. Constitutionally, the English courts have no jurisdiction to correct defects or irregularities in the manner or form in which Parliamentary business is conducted, no matter how undemocratic in principle or âunconstitutionalâ in practice. It may mot, for example interfere in the manner in which an Act of Parliament has been introduced or passed. In Edinburgh v Dalkeith Railway Company vv Wuachop  Lord Campbell observed that no court can inquire into the manner in which a bill was introduced, and what was done previous to its introduction or what passes through its various stages. This was affirmed as recently as 1974 when, in British Railways Board v Pickin , in which the court was constitutionally disabled from intervening when it was alleged that a bill had been procured by fraud. Morover, a Crown Subject has no recourse the courts should a government, on achieving power simply tear up any or all of the manifesto upon which it was elected. R v Secretary of State for Education and Employment ex parte Begbie . One will therefore hear no debate, let alone vote on how much the Treasury extracts from the television licence fee paid by millions of people which goes straight into the general fund and how much of it is actually allocated to the BBC. Such frustration of the stifling of debate in a representative Parliamentary democracy sometimes spills over onto the floor of the Commons. On 15 January, the Transport Secretary and earstwhile Secretary of State for Defence Geoff (Buff) Hoon announced Government plans to open a third runway at Heathrow Airport. It is a decision that affects thousands of people who live in the affected area who petitioned their MP, John McDonnel to make representations to Parliament on their behalf. The government refused to allow MPs to vote on the decision. Mr McDonnel, made his protest clear by grabbing the Speakerâs Mace and holding it aloft, a protest which several MPs before him had engaged in, such as the late Labour MP Ron Brown, and the Conservative MP Michael Heseltine who earned the Nickname âTarzanâ for swinging the mace over his head. For his act of defiance Mr McDonnel was suspended from Parliament for five days. He said, in a statement to the BBC: â"My job is to represent my constituents. Today I was reasserting the values of democracy and the overriding sovereignty of parliament, so I don't feel I should apologise.â One must therefore question the efficacy of engaging in that typically British practice of writing to a constituency MP or attending his surgery given the futility of the exercise even if he or she is not possessed of a âtin earâ and is personally sympathetic to the issue in question. His ability to represent his Parliamentary constituents is severely constrained by a Government who, because of its exclusive control of the Parliamentary agenda may be predisposed to allow a vote only if it is likely to either elicit or coerce sufficient support for its programme from its back-bench MPs Peter Mandelsohn, who, shortly after his appointment as a European Commissioner said âthat the days of representative democracy in Britain are almost overâ (when he thought we were not listening) choked on those words through a face full of Green custard thrown by a runway protester when he returned as Secretary of State for Trade. One might suggest that that as a matter of political causation, there is a link between the state of affairs articulated by Mandelsohn, and the state of his suit! While the head of the IPCC had today, after the ninth investigation into Police misconduct called for a ânational debateâ on the type of public order policing we want in this country, perhaps it would be more appropriate to question why those who take part in âdirect actionâ feel that the only voice they have left is a protest on the street in confrontation with a state which denies them or their elected representatives any voice in Parliament.