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Lords Reform.

Nearly 60 rebel Tory MPs have offered ministers a seven-point peace deal over Lords reform which could give organisations like RSPB and National Trust their own peers to sit in the Lords, The Daily Telegraph can disclose.

The final proposals were sent by the rebels’ leader Jesse Norman MP to Patrick McLoughlin, the Tory party chief whip and to Cabinet Office minister Oliver Letwin on Thursday.

The seven point plan includes a proposal to allow mass membership organisations – such as the CBI, TUC, General Medical Council or even the RSPB – to elect their own peers.

What about the Kitty Kounters? Do we get one? (me!!!) This is appalling. Why can we not simply have a purely elected second chamber.

Goddamn us all!


  1. Lynne says:

    A chamber NOT elected by MPs or ministers! And most CERTAINLY NOT consisting of representatives from any frigging NGO!

  2. CountingCats says:

    Lets see, a chamber which is in direct competition with the Commons, with its own electoral mandate? You want the current coalition politics? Forever?

    The Lords is at the same time the most erudite and powerless second chamber anywhere. Any reform will destroy both those advantages.

    I see no benefit to it being elected rather than appointed.

    Nontheless, the RSPB? Really?

  3. RAB says:

    It aint broke so why fix it? Just to appease the boy Clegg? Fuck that for a reason!

    The House of Lords is a revisionary chamber. There to scrutinise the idiotic laws that the Commons has thought up on the back of an envelope, and send them back down to the Commons with the spelling corrected and the thinking straightened out.

    If you start electing it on the basis that it is only “fair” then you give it an equal legitimacy to the Commons, and it will be stuffed full of the same political fuckwits that the Commons is. The Commons hasonly one mmber currently with any hands on scientific experience, the Lords is full of experts on all sorts of subjects. That will all be lost because these types will probably not bother to stand for election.

    All academic of course, as our Parliament is a Puppet one with no power or Sovereignty left. Brussels rules now.

  4. NickM says:

    We vote for those fuckwits. I don’t. I spoil my ballot because it has been Tory round here since before Lloyd George knew my father (or my father knew Lloyd George) and other places I’ve lived it’s been Labour since Hardy was in short trousers. So what is the point.

    But I can’t be on with an appointed chamber. It is simply “jobs for the boys”. It is vile.

    Do you want to appoint them or do you want some bunch of wankers to appoint their pals to a sinecure?

  5. Sam Duncan says:

    I agree with Cats and RAB. An elected second chamber is pointless, and would end up as a rival power-base to the Commons. Even the US Senate, the model for all (or most) modern upper chambers, is supposed to represent the states, as opposed to the people, and was originally elected by the state legislatures.

    Having said that, only politicians could come up with an idea worse than that, and stuffing it with QUANGOs is it. My favourite proposal so far (offered in jest, but the more I think about it the more I like it) is to make serving in the Lords a requirement of receiving a big Lottery win. It’s random selection of people who can afford to serve without payment, just like the hereditary principle but without the baggage.

  6. jameshigham says:

    Why can we not simply have a purely elected second chamber.

    Simple – we’ve been through all that. Because it puts power into the hands of precisely the people we don’t want it in – the Big 3 head honchos. A proper house of review is the only way to curb these excrescences.

  7. The usual argument against an elected second chamber is that it would make it harder for governments to push through changes in legislation – as if that was somehow a bad thing.

  8. RAB says:

    Well you can bet your boots that the Commons isn’t going to give up the ultimate right to pass Bills what ever the newly elected Lords does. So you’ll have the same situation as now, but with another tier of superanuated politicos, on salary and expenses, with staff and bureaucrats to back ‘em up. It was cost an arm and a leg more than now (just what we need in these staightened times, more politicians) and the twats are secure for 15 years!

    Nope, I’ll happily put up with low cost items like Lord Sugar and Baroness Bakewell, and a bunch of Bishops. They aint doing much harm. Over half the Lords we have never go near the place. If you start electing them, they are going to want to do things to justify the huge wonga they are getting.

    Leave well alone, there are more important things to get on with, like the economy and getting the hell out of the EU. The electorate doesn’t give a flying one about the constitution of the Lords.

  9. Simon Jester says:

    According to Tim Worstall, Jesse Norman has been in contact with him to assure him that this story is “wildly misleading and inaccurate”:

    Cynicism follows in the comments.

  10. Single Acts of Tyranny says:

    On another blog recently, someone quoted Enoch Powell on Lords reform, viz an elected second chamber

    “The proposition is axiomatic, because it is self evident that there cannot be two alternative equally valid representations of the same electorate. If one is more valid than the other they cannot co-exist: for where a more valid representation exists, there is just no justification for paying attention to a less valid representation.
    A few simple theorems are sufficient. Suppose in a unitary state like the UK, one chamber is elected by a simple majority (like the House of Commons) and the other chamber by some variety of proportional representation. Which is to prevail? The simple majority chamber says:’no it is we who represent the people: you are only a caricature and a distortion.’ One chamber must destroy the other and no constitutional device or convention will avert that.

    Hard to argue with that. Oh and the odious Clegg supports it…. QED

  11. NickM says:

    Your point about Clegg (scumbag though is) is pure ad hom. As to the rest… Enoch Powell was a very bright man but that doesn’t mean he was always right. And he wasn’t here. Ian (nto)B makes a good point. Perhaps another point (and directly related to the Powell quote) is that if the election system is different (and some form of PR might be an idea) and also if the election period is different then it might work. It certainly is better than appointees. Hereditary peers are of course better than appointees but I would argue some form of democratic process is better than both. And anything is better than the head of the fucking RSPB getting shoe-ed in along with the Chief Rabbi and the boss of the TUC along with our dear Lords Spiritual. Why should the size of an organization give it rights. Why not me? Why not you? Do I not have things to say? If not what the fuck am I doing here? I could be downloading porn on this laptop and not typing about the House of Lords!

    Furthermore Powell was being somewhat disingenuous. An MP of his undoubted erudition must have known the Lords were there to scrutinize and amend acts. Therefore there is no reason for the two houses to be in exact conflict. Depends how Lords reform is done. All I am talking about is how they get to sit on pink benches and not what powers they have. That is a different issue.

    Sam, not a bad idea. If a jury of random folk can put people in the Big House for 20+ years then why not? I mean if ordinary folk can apply the law then is it wrong to have them also make it?

  12. Single Acts of Tyranny says:

    NickM, the clegg point was ad hominem, fair enough.

    But two democratic houses will be in conflict especially if they have opposite majorities. Can we expect politicians to scrutinise not block and sabotage? I suspect not. Conflict must ensue.

    Not that having some party donor scumbag or the chinless descendant of the mistress of King Charles is much better.

    Rather than amending one chamber, I (seriously) think we should abolish both. You seem like a bright fellow, I don’t think you need i-Dave telling you what to so and taking your cash at gunpoint; neither do I. Government is an anachronism these days and I fancy in the future it will seem as ridiculous and immoral as slavery seems to us today.

  13. Laird says:

    FWIW, the decline of the US government began with the enactment of the 17th Amendment (changing the method of selecting senators from appointment by the state to popular vote). It has been an unmitigated disaster; we now have same sort of pandering, incompetent career politicians there as we do in the House. (Seriously. Would anyone not brain dead hire Harry Reid to manage a convenience store? Yet this incompetent twat is Senate Majority Leader.) Any form of selection for the upper chamber (appointment, heredity, random lottery, whatever) is superior to popular election. Don’t fall into that trap.

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