I recently attended the Zoom meeting held by the protest movement STAND which rightly challenged the decision made by Dorset Council (DC) to promote the building of 4,000 houses just north of Dorchester.

Many valid objections were vocalised.

I had hoped that given its publicly-made promise to listen to its electorate that someone in a position of authority at DC would be present. I wanted to know the reason for such an awful scheme.

This took me back to the 1990s when public meeting after public meeting in Dorchester was held to challenge DC’s Titanic town centre development scheme.

Then, as now, its councillors lacked the fibre to show up. What became blatantly obvious to me is that the root problems for Dorchester are unchanged.

We do not have a democracy.

DC’s autocracy does whatever it likes, whatever the objections, and whatever the cost and allows no alternative views on any matters to be expressed where they would count.

Not one Dorchester councillor has had a place on the decision-making Cabinets of WDDC or DC for many years.

We have learned to our cost over centuries that democracy has to be fought for and this country is singularly demonstrating now, how to lose it again to the forces of unadulterated privilege and ostentatious greed.

We still don’t make important political decisions that aren’t influenced by the prospect of someone, somewhere making some cash.

Have the 30-odd DC councillors who aren’t Tories lost their voices?