Labour proposes more reforms for the House of Lords

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Drago_Drake, Oct 23, 2006.

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  1. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/6074478.stm
    This can only be described as a bloody awful idea.

    I could rant for hours on the issue, but suffix to say that the power, importance and legitimacy of the upper house is in the fact that the peers aren’t meant to be swayed by knee-jerk politics, especially party relate ones, by making it an elected body you then force these issues apon them. As well as the fact that the upper house takes a long term, nationwide view of the issues, and act as the counter balance to the (insane) lower house, if they are an elected body with constituents and are getting paid a salary then they will no longer be able to do this. It will simply become a second version of the Commons.

    Don’t get me wrong, the House of Lords does need reforms, removing the right of hereditary peers for one thing. But these, ... ideas are not only the entirely wrong direction to move in but utter madness. The upper house should be a small, appointed, unpaid body. Peers should be appointed by a independent committee that is chaired with a the parties having minority representation, thus removing these political appointments we have seen so much of under labour. The House of Lords should be filled with Britain’s great people, its finest minds, not who ever gave the ruling party a nice big cheque. It also needs to be given back its legitimacy, whilst the lower house should obviously be dominant, it shouldn’t be able to steamroll over the Lords whenever a government cant get what it wants, it derides the entire point of having the upper house to examine bills.

    As it stands today, the Lords isn’t actually that bad, it simply needs some minor adjustments to ensure it works effectively.

    These 'reforms' would do nothing but destroy the oldest political institution in the world, to be replaced with mayhem. And all for the sake of party politics :x.
     
  2. It seems to me that any of New Labours reforms end up costing a lot more money and then have a lot of thier friends involved in it at a variety of levels. I agree the Upper House does need some reforming, but a second election for a second house does seem unnecessary, I always saw the Upper House as a moderating effect on the Commons, all it can do is delay or suggest modifications to what was put in front of it, this could be bypassed by the commons in the case of severe national emergencies to push laws etc through, such as the need to push through the anti-hunting vote!
     
  3. The house of Lords as it stands has consistently produced better descisions than the house of commons over the many years this government has been in power. How many times has some piece of legislation passed through the commons in some mangled and twisted form, for the Lords to quickly realise that its a load of b*ll*cks voted it down.

    The great strength of the Lords is that it is made of (mainly) proffesionals from various fields, not people whose professional life consists of constantly trying to look good to get elected. Lets face it, elected politicians are not experts in management or any other field(there is the occasional lawyer among them). The only change I would make is to get rid of the remaining Hereditary Peers.

    So overall I completely agree with Drago_Drake, good post sir.
     
  4. For the first time in my life, i found myself agreeing with Tony Benn on these 'improvements' to the house of lords!

    If Labour have their way, they will use the issue of hereditary peers to lever through their 'appointed' lords, which if the trend continues will be labour cronies who have contributed to 'the cause'.
     
  5. It's purely and simply about breaking the "power" of the second chamber to prevent them making this Government look s**te, which it manages to do so without any help from anybody else. New Labour has forced thro more Bills under the Parliament Act than any other regime. Out of 7 actual uses the Parliament Act has been used 3 times by New Labour, in 1999, 2000 and 2004.

    New Labour didn't like the "unreformed" House of Lords because it was too big, uncontrollable, and too prone to do its own thing. The "Reformed" House of Lords has proved even more prone to upset the Government because of the Government's own stupidity, since New Labour "reformed" the House, the remain9ing Lords feel they have more right to correct, amend and reject bad bills, something New Labour is really good at writing, after all It's now a Criminal Offence to express your own opinion within 1 km of the Houses Of Parliament, without some brain dead Copper telling you that you can.

    I much preferred the old House of Lords, full of people who’d had real lives to live; unlike the useless political drones and hacks we get as MP’s. This is why the Political class want to reform the Lords
     
  6. I had to laugh however at the Lib Dem idea of not actually having Lords in the House of Lords, they would instead be the Rt. Hon. Members of Lords (ML's). What have they been smoking, and why didnt they offer to share.
     
  7. There seems to be a growing arrogance among politicians that just because someone is elected, he or she makes better descisions than non-elected descision makers, because "they were chosen by the voters".
     
  8. Mr Happy

    Mr Happy LE Moderator

    Labour trying to get back some of its left wing support in time for the election? LOOKOUT the tories are coming..
     
  9. Ah ha......sounds like a cheap attempt to hi-jack the House of Lords for their own means by removing it's independance and effectively turning it into the second tier of the House of Commons. Generally speaking they [the Lords] do a great job in 'sanity checking' bills generated by the Commons who hope to achieve some fashionable or short term political goal. Once Labour have the quotas filled with paid and elected members in the Lords it will descend into that self serving shambles we call the House of Commons.

    Why don't you just f*ck off Tony, we can all see that you just want to rid yourself of one of the last enclaves of opposition to your weak and ineffective Goverenment.

    .....rant over.
     

  10. Surely in a democracy that is exactly what is suppposed to happen. If we do not change to a fully elected second chamber then we may as well just give the keys to government to the Tories (if You stand by the original institution) or Labour (taking into account the present debacle).

    As for the Lords being a block to bad legislation - some posters have apparently forgotten the law Maggie rought in that has emasculated The House of Lords
     
  11. Sorry Sven, what I meant was that they actually believe that they make better quality descisions because they are elected.
     


  12. But they do make decisions which are more in keeping with the the thoughts of the voting public
     
  13. No they make decisions based on knee-jerk reactions, in the vain hope of keeping favour with specific segments of their constituency’s. They very rarely have the best interests of the country as a whole as a concern. Just look at the hospital closures in Tory and Lib Dem area's specifically to avoid jeopardising Labour seats.

    This is one of the reasons the HoL is so important, it not only tempers the lower houses knee-jerk reactions, but they also take a very broad national view on issues.
     
  14. What like Terrorism Legislation? Increasing powers of surveillance on the public? Id Cards? Law Reforms?

    The lords scrutinised all of these things and sent them back to the commons to make sure they think it through properly. To me they are defending democracy far better than the "Blair Claps and we jump" crowd the MPs seem to form.

    They cant block bills from happening but they can raise issues with them and delay bad bills. To me they are absolutely essential to preventing the madness in Commons all being passed into law.
     
  15. Bouillabaisse

    Bouillabaisse LE Book Reviewer

    How about random selection from the voting population, with a minimum standard of education required, for a period of 3 years with no option to return for 6 years? Like jury service, only longer and with a better bar. Salary to be same as your employment, plus London accomodation, expenses etc. The benefit is that you'd get a cross section of the public and less party political influence.