Ten years ago a good friend, more experienced in the world of politics than I, expressed a view that democracy was slowly evaporating. He truly believed that western democracies would see public revolt unless politicians made a genuine attempt to represent the people they purported to serve.
To be honest it was all a bit heavy going for me at the time. Sadly my friend died shortly after his prediction but I'm beginning to realise just how prescient it was.
Despite having spent half my life working in the United States I could not forsee the likes of Donald Trump ever becoming President. He wasn't elected for his grasp of world affairs or his political eloquence. He was elected because he wasn't part of the political establishment that so many Americans had come to despise.
Neither could I see a time when the United Kingdom would opt to leave the EU but the growing arrogance of Eurocrats and politicians simply became an anathema. The answer to Mr Cameron's plea for concessions to help him win the referendum was met with a take-it-or-leave-it response. We all know how that ended.
In Cheshire East public faith in democracy is at an all-time low. Communities that developed neighbourhood plans attended countless public meetings and campaigned against unwanted development found their views counted for nought.
They discovered that the avowed policy of Brownfield First meant nothing and that 'affordable' homes (the entire premise on which the great land grab was predicated) was a complete lie.
Residents saw services cut as top council executives departed with huge payments for minimal service.
They heard endless claims by council leaders concerning lack of funds while massive losses were racked up by council owned off-shoots totally incapable of standing on their own feet in a commercial world.
Voters recently discovered that the £100M 'savings' CEC plan to make in the next few years is largely be made by increased taxes. (Even primary school children understand the difference between 'savings' and price increases.)
And if they didn't know already the Lyme Green fiasco confirmed beyond any doubt that when caught with their hand in the till the truth will not be told unless and until Cheshire East are faced with incontrovertible evidence.
All of which should provide Opposition parties with a huge opportunity to campaign for change. So where are they? A dormouse in a padded cell could make more noise.
All of which creates a huge void in the democratic process leaving us vulnerable to the likes of Mr Trump whose major attribute appears to be that he is NOT part of the establishment.
If ever there was a time for politicians to GENUINELY fight for the people they represent this is it.
NB: I suggest residents might hold a séance for the Opposition parties in Cheshire East and ask: "Is anyone there?"
The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of alderleyedge.com.