Why do UK citizens feel "that only the British (and perhaps the Swiss) are properly democratic"? Please the bolded phrases below in the quotes for illustrations:
Leading politicians might pick up a better language and feel for the issues if they risked a bit more engagement with the public. We have politicians who come from very different walks of life from many of the people they represent. In the 2015 General Election, 3% of MPs elected had experience of manual labour.23 In the run-up to their 2015 General Election landslide, the SNP managed to widen the recruitment base for Westminster politicians, but it helps if you're sweeping up seats where you've never had a viable candidate on the Leading politicians might pick up a better language and feel for the issues if they risked a bit more engagement with the public.
back of massive surge in support. There's a cocky presumption, repeated by David Cameron in his last Prime Minister's Questions, that frontline UK politicians are much more challenged than their international counterparts. [mine] It rests on the quick-thinking needed to take on all-comers once a week in Prime Minister's Questions. Admittedly that's a rare phenomenon in the legislatures of the world. John Major once said: "Most European heads of government couldn't find their way to their parliaments with a white stick." But PMQs hides ever decreasing exposure to all other forms Of challenge. David Camerorn's team remorselessly kept him away from random members Of the public. While Boris Johnson pressed the flesh in accessible walkabouts, taking on hecklers in the street, David Cameron stuck to a tried, tested and controlled format. You stand in a workplace in which the employees have been called in by their bosses to sit in serried ranks listening respectfully to the important visitor and asking a small number of questions under the watchful eye of an employer who pays their wages. Resentment boils up that the politicians don't seem to be under proper scrutiny. And then you end up with the angry studio exchanges that seem only to happen around elections and referendums and which add to the frenzy and the mood of anti-politics.
Denis MacShane. Brexit: How Britain Left Europe. Warning: The author pled guilty to false accounting and was imprisoned.. p. 151.
It was John Major, when prime minister, who summed up the barely hidden contempt that many British politicians have for democracy in Europe. Challenged in the Commons in 1994 about why he was, once again, at odds with all of his fellow leaders in Europe on a now-forgotten issue the British premier snapped at MPs: 'Most European heads of government couldn't find their way to their parliaments with a white stick.' then prime minister's condescension hid a real truth. In the UK citizens share the unspoken or rather rarely spoken but deeply felt view that only the British (and perhaps the Swiss) are properly democratic, while other Europeans have yet properly to learn how to be good democrats. EU is seen as full of young nations where democratic and rule-of-law traditions have still fully to take root.