Refoming the House of Lords

Be careful what you wish for.

The Rt Hon MP for Sedgemoor was behind the most recent "reform" of the Hise Of Lairds.

He had me fooled - I fell hooklineandsinker for the notion that killing off the hereditaries was in-and-of-itself a good thing.

It took me a good long time to twig that what he had given us instead is the abortion we have today - as you describe - whilst at the same time eroding (eventually to nowt, as the few remaining hereditaries breathe their last) the Crown power-base in the Palace of Westminster.

This very effectively deprived the ability of Monarch to hold Parliament to account, and thus demolished (in all but name) the cherished checks-and-balances that supposedly safeguard our democracy and our treasured yet imaginary (imaginary because it is un-documented, which suits very well the likes of the aforementioned Rt Hon gentleman, hence remains an issue never to be addressed).

Mother of all Parlaiments? Greatest and oldest of all democracies?

My arrse.
Do you mean Sedgefield? Sedgefield is in Co Durham, whereas Sedgemoor is in Somerset (as in 'battle of . . .) and falls within the constituency of Bridgwater.

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Grownup_Rafbrat

ADC
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I’ve often thought that the Upper House should be elected by PR, thus reflecting the ‘popular vote’ whilst maintaining the strength of a ‘first past the post’ HoC.
As it is in Australia.
 
Hear, hear!

But ironic that the guy complaining about pomposity and peacocks in ermine is Quentin Letts of the bright red braces and matching cravat!

I agree that the HofL is totally out of control and not for for purpose. When there are so many Liberal Lords compared to number of MPs the place is totally out of kilter with public view.

I think there is an absolute need for a second chamber, but not in this current form. Just look at how Sturgeon forces through bad Bills that have had no scrutiny in the one chambered Scottish parliament.

Expenses need to be sorted as well. Turning up, signing in and getting back in the taxi should not incurr a day's expenses. Even during lockdown, if they logged in they could claim half expenses - what expense if working from home? Certainly not £175. Get rid of the Lord's Spiritual as well. Why should Church of England bishops have such a say in the running of the country?

Maybe the time is right to change it to electing Lords.
Could be done at the same time as a GE - just varying numbers of candidates depending on deaths, resignations, certifiable lunacy / dementia etc
 
The trouble with PR is that you have to have several representatives for each constituency, so losing the concept of a "Constituency MP" representing all voters, not just those supporting his/her/its party. The party lists usually include a lot of people you have never heard of (cf the EU elections: how many of your MEP's could you name?). Better is the Norn Iron STV system where you vote for individual candidates but you can prioritise your choices so there is less opportunity for tactical voting and you can still vote for your party without necessarily voting for the first choice of the party machine.
I’ve often thought that the Upper House should be elected by PR, thus reflecting the ‘popular vote’ whilst maintaining the strength of a ‘first past the post’ HoC.
The trouble with PR is that you have to have several representatives for each constituency, so losing the concept of a "Constituency MP" representing all voters, not just those supporting his/her/its party. The party lists usually include a lot of people you have never heard of (cf the EU elections: how many of your MEP's could you name?). Better is the Norn Iron STV system where you vote for individual candidates but you can prioritise your choices so there is less opportunity for tactical voting and you can still vote for your party without necessarily voting for the first choice of the party machine.
 
Turkey's not voting for Xmas. Quelle surprise!

'Mr Cruddas is one of seven people Mr Johnson has placed on a list of Conservative nominations for the Queen to bestow a peerage on in a surprise honours list today.

'One of those, Dan Hannan, co-authored a book published in 2008 where he wrote that the current House of Lords “embodies everything that is wrong with the administration of Britain”.

'He added: It is made up of people who can pass laws without having to justify themselves to those who must obey their laws.”

'And Mr Hannan also wrote in a column for ConservativeHome in 2015: “David Cameron is doing what Asquith threatened to do in 1910: de-legitimising the House of Lords by flooding it with inconsequential nobodies.”

“This list will bring the total in the House of Lords to over 830 - almost 200 more than the House of Commons,” he said, suggesting it “may also now be the time to review the role and the powers” of HOLAC.

'Adding: “The number of appointments now being made also run smack against the recommendations of the Burns committee on the size of the House that was overwhelmingly endorsed by the House of Lords.

“The committee recommended that numbers should be reduced to 600. To add insult to injury, for the second time the announcement of new peers has been made when Parliament is not sitting.'


 

FORMER_FYRDMAN

LE
Book Reviewer
I’ve often thought that the Upper House should be elected by PR, thus reflecting the ‘popular vote’ whilst maintaining the strength of a ‘first past the post’ HoC.

But then you run into the issue of which elected house has primacy and on what basis.

P.S. Please could someone amend the thread title, it's making my eyes bleed.
 
I’m a Lord and Er Indoors is a Lady. I bought the titles online when I was pissed one morning so I could call her a ‘Lady Muck who sits on her arse while everyone waits on her, hand and foot’.
I have since stopped buying shit online whilst pissed. Well, except for the Army greatcoat which I’ve just bought, for the only reason of ‘bloody hell those wooden tops coats look warm’.
 
I have since stopped buying shit online whilst pissed. Well, except for the Army greatcoat which I’ve just bought, for the only reason of ‘bloody hell those wooden tops coats look warm’.
Lord and Lady of The Manor PapaGolf

Yep, time for your bed.
 
It shows.
 

BuggerAll

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
My view on the HoL is that we should look to its strengths and try to replicate it as well and getting rid of its weakness and anachronism.

The weakness:

Lack of democratic legitimacy although having mechanisms for the democratic house to override them mitigates that.

Selection of Life Peers subject to political influence.

The strengths are:

Peers who are not professional politicians.

Cannot be sacked and are therefore not subject to party political influence for their jobs.

Random selection of heredity peers - beyond the influence of party machines.

Peers are often SMEs.

The H of L according to BA would seek to keep those strengths and bin the weakness. I would make selection to the Peerage a combination of Ex-officio appointments - Longstanding MPs and Ministers, CDS, Commissioners of the Met, head of the TUC etc etc.

I would also have functional constituencies that could elect peers from time to time. Local government associations, Royal Colleges, trade associations etc.

Peers would be appointed for life but would be expected to retire at a certain age. In the case of functional constituencies they would only appoint a new peer when the old one retires.

Retirement would mean they would cease to be entitled to any financial compensation but as life peers they could still continue to attend and vote.

Removal would have to be possible but needs to be very carefully thought about. It has been said that Lord Archer has made significant contributions to the HoL after getting out of prison. In the sometimes febrile atmosphere of politics by social media the cries for people to be sacked often depend on how 'popular' they are. We want Peers who are prepared to be unpopular.
 
They should automatically lose all rights, titles and privileges associated with a Peerage, as soon as they get arrested for sex offences
 

Grownup_Rafbrat

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They should automatically lose all rights, titles and privileges associated with a Peerage, as soon as they get arrested for sex offences
And when nothing comes to court? Or it comes to court and they are found Not Guilty? Or the accuser is proved to be a known liar and fantasist doing what he does best?
 
I've said it before but it's worth repeating, there will be no meaningful reform of the HoL until the public are standing outside the doors with pitchforks, burning torches and a strong rope.

Until that time politicians will continue to find it too useful, no matter the level of corruption.
 
My view on the HoL is that we should look to its strengths and try to replicate it as well and getting rid of its weakness and anachronism.

The weakness:

Lack of democratic legitimacy although having mechanisms for the democratic house to override them mitigates that.

Selection of Life Peers subject to political influence.

The strengths are:

Peers who are not professional politicians.

Cannot be sacked and are therefore not subject to party political influence for their jobs.

Random selection of heredity peers - beyond the influence of party machines.

Peers are often SMEs.

The H of L according to BA would seek to keep those strengths and bin the weakness. I would make selection to the Peerage a combination of Ex-officio appointments - Longstanding MPs and Ministers, CDS, Commissioners of the Met, head of the TUC etc etc.

I would also have functional constituencies that could elect peers from time to time. Local government associations, Royal Colleges, trade associations etc.

Peers would be appointed for life but would be expected to retire at a certain age. In the case of functional constituencies they would only appoint a new peer when the old one retires.

Retirement would mean they would cease to be entitled to any financial compensation but as life peers they could still continue to attend and vote.

Removal would have to be possible but needs to be very carefully thought about. It has been said that Lord Archer has made significant contributions to the HoL after getting out of prison. In the sometimes febrile atmosphere of politics by social media the cries for people to be sacked often depend on how 'popular' they are. We want Peers who are prepared to be unpopular.

Agree with 99% of your Post.
The only bit I am not convinced about is hereditary peers.
A long time ago they would have had a much greater stake in the Nation, effect the lives of commoners around them far more, and probably have had far more education - helping to see the bigger picture.

Today is a different world and I don't think they should hold a privileged position for the sake of tradition.
 
Agree with 99% of your Post.
The only bit I am not convinced about is hereditary peers.
A long time ago they would have had a much greater stake in the Nation, effect the lives of commoners around them far more, and probably have had far more education - helping to see the bigger picture.

Today is a different world and I don't think they should hold a privileged position for the sake of tradition.
Indeed, and I would add that while in the past the hereditary peers could possibly argue that they had a greater level of education, that would be difficult to argue now and also they were overwhelmingly big-C Conservative, giving us a chamber that was not only undemocratic but also had a bias to one political party.

What we have now is a bit better, but not by much IMO.
 
Indeed, and I would add that while in the past the hereditary peers could possibly argue that they had a greater level of education, that would be difficult to argue now and also they were overwhelmingly big-C Conservative, giving us a chamber that was not only undemocratic but also had a bias to one political party.

What we have now is a bit better, but not by much IMO.

One of the reasons it is not much better now is because there are many members who were elevated due to cronyism.

Most if these will have no life experience of anything other than politics.

The last thing we need in the Lords is politicians.
 

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