While Gordon Brown is finishing his plate at yet another G-8 banquet in Hokkaido, he might well reflect on democracy at work in the Church of England. I have always been impressed at the way each well-run Anglican parish keeps an electoral roll, elects its parish councils at an Annual General Meeting, checks over the Parish accounts. It contrasts with a rather more paternalist model operated by Roman Catholic parishes, I know. Last night's news of the Synod vote on women bishops highlights the readiness of an institution to debate and decide difficult decisons. It puts the Labour Party to shame regarding the way it treats issues about which there are differing opinions. Unless, of course, Gordon recognises that the National Policy Forum starting (or will it) on the day of the Glasgow East by-election is his big opportunity to confound his critics and open up the Labour Party to democratic debate.