Reform of the House of Lords

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by minime33, Mar 7, 2007.

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  1. Following the previous reforms and the expulsion of the majority of heriditary peers I think they will already have seen the writing on the wall. They will also be well aware that even if they don't pass it the Government will use the Parliament Acts to force it through whether they like it or not.

    That said they will probably pass it, although there will not doubt be some dissenting voices. Bliar has placed enough of his pals in there to do his bidding, so maybe they will try to ammend it in line with the 50/50 split he voted for?

    Previously I would not have been in favour of such a change (I was against the abolition of the hereditaries) but having seen what a thoroughly corrupt and dishonest PM and government we now have (honours for sale being a case in point), it is surely preferable to the current state of affairs..
  2. in_the_cheapseats

    in_the_cheapseats LE Moderator

    I'm not sure. We don't have the 50/50 split in political parties that the US has - we have far more parties in the mix and some of the smaller parties currently represented including the completely apolitical (and balancing) independants, will miss out in positions of influence. I simply don't believe that there will be the diversity of the Lords as is at the moment.

    We have a government, switching from one side to another of political ascendency. I fear that we will get nothing more from the "new" Lords. If that is a reflection of the (your words)

    do you think we will get anything better from the Lords?

    As it is, I think that this will lead to a direct correlation between who has power in the lower house having primacy in the upper without the potential intransience that the Lords provides now. This does not lead me to have confidence in the "new order".

    Overall, I fear that this is not therefore a good move for UK democracy.
  3. A fully-elected bicameral parliament? I’m sure that it sounds good to a lot of people, but if it becomes policy, unless other constitutional reforms are pushed through at the same time, it'll make a mockery of the elected nature of the second chamber. As elected representatives they're not going to be happy with powers merely to scrutinise bills and delay the passing of laws.
  4. in_the_cheapseats,

    I certainly agree that it is not a good move for UK democracy, but then UK democracy was delivered a crushing blow in 1997 when Blair and his gang of overgrown student activists and ex-marxists / communist party members came to power and set about raping our constitutional arrangement.

    I follow your argument, but I would disagree on a couple of points, although it's purely academic and I don't think we could really know until the voting started.

    1. When I referred to the impropriety of Blair & Co. I meant that I believe precisely what you fear (ie a correlation between the party in power in the lower house and primacy in the Lords) is already in place, since the PM has the power to appoint peers and has set about putting all his pals (eg Falconer) and cronies in there. This is much the same as he has done to the civil service and the police. Granted this has always been the case to certain degree but not in the blatant and shameless way he has set about it. At least this would be stopped.

    2. I don't believe the independants and representatives of the smaller parties would necessarily miss out. They too would be free to stand for election to the Lords as they are to the Commons. I think a lot would depend on the timing of the election. If it were held at the same time as a General election then I would imagine people would vote on the same party lines as they do in the Parliamentary election. If on the other hand the election was held seperately we could see a completely different outcome, such as in the local or EU elections when people often take the opportunity to give the incumbant government a kick up the ar*e!

    As I said, I agree that this is not the best move for our democracy, but the Labour party has made such a mess of things, as they have in just about everything they have touched, the question now is simply how to make the best of a bad job.....
  5. "Labour peer Lord Lipsey has published figures suggesting £1,092m as the cost for the proposed shake-up"


    Surely that should be a decimal rather than a comma in that figure? Even then, how does it cost 50 million per head to remove a lord?

    I could do it for literally a fraction of the cost. /dark mutterings
  6. A profund step is it comes about - the effective disestablishment of the Church of England, the abolition of the law lords, and the banishment of the Sovereign's representatives, namely the hereditary peers. Republic by perhaps 2025 with a new name for our nation as it will no longer be a kingdom, with a different oath of allegiance as a consequence :!:
  7. I cannot believe they did not even consider a total abolition. That would have been the simplest and cheapest option.

    An appointed Lords was merely going to be full of cronies and ex-back bench MPs who had been loyal lobby fodder. An enticement that the PM and other party leaders could use to influence MPs.

    An elected Lords will end up in constant argument with the Commons over who has the most power. If they don't start with much power then they will constantly angle for it, just like every other assembly/council/parliament etc. So the end result is that we end up paying for twice as many politicians who will achieve even less than they do now, because most of their time and efforts will go into opposing the other house.

    If the commons did manage to keep the Lords powers limited to trivia, then who would bother to vote for its members? They cannot get decent turn outs at elections to vote in the Commons, which does have power. Who will campaign and vote for a "Lord/Senator/Parasite?" who can merely tinker at the edges of government.

    Why should Westminster have two chambers? Every other level of government from parish, local/district/borough/city and English county councils, the London, Welsh and Northern Irish Assemblies, the Scottish and the European Parliaments, all get by with a single chamber.

    If unicameral government is good enough for them why not Westminster?

    After all Westminster is constantly losing powers to those other levels, particularly to the devolved governments and to Europe. They should have less to do and need fewer MPs.

    This is really about politicians creating more jobs for politicians! All at tax payers expense :pissedoff:

    It is the same as when they vote huge pay rises for themselves. It is not as if they will ever vote pay cuts or reduce their number of jobs.
  8. It's headed that way alright if we don't get rid of these cnuts. Would the Tories do any different??

    I never thought I'd say it but if it does continue this way I'm off. Australia, NZ, wherever. I love this country, but it simply won't exist if Labour get their way...... :cry:
  9. The Lords is senior to the commons and all the devolved Parliaments / Assemblies, that is undisputed.

    The (Law) Lords also rule on legal matters which affect the UK as a whole (and to a lesser degree all the countries of the commonwealth)
  10. I do believe that the lords have a steadying influence on government. I would suggest keeping the lords, with some more defined criteria for who can become a lord. (minimum number of terms as MP, number of years of service in military or some such.)

  11. just another illegal nail in the coffin of 800 Years of English Law
  12. An elected second chamber is required. That they be Lords is not.
  13. australia here i come this last ten years of erosion of the history of this country this is the final straw.

    The house of lords main contribution was that it was independant of party politics. the conspiricist in my can't help wondering if the cash for honours leak was planned.
  14. I am in the lucky position to know and have semi-regular contact with 4 Lords who regularly sit in the upper house.

    To a man, they are very sensible and level headed people who have nothing other than a common sense attitude and a total loyalty to what is right ......... including a loyalty and backing of HM Forces.

    They are the type of people you can depend on to do the right thing !

    No wonder Bliars army wants to get rid of them, they are far too loyal to this country for him and his cronies to cope with.