Quiz with a difference

Lord Norton

I thought this week I would pose a different type of question.  The House of Lords has become more specialised in recent years, making greater use of committees and moving away from reliance on the chamber.   Committee work for many peers is both more time-cosuming and rewarding than being in the chamber.  The work of the committees ensures that the House is well informed and in a better position to influence public policy.

The House Magazine used to host an annual awards ceremony.  One of the awards was for Committee of the Year.   I thought  I would resuscitate the award and invite readers to nominate which committee in the House of Lords they believe has been the best committee in the House – and why.  

The Committees are the Communications Committee, the Constitution Committeethe Delegated Powers Committeethe Economic Affairs Committee, the European Union Committeethe Merits of Statutory Instruments Committee, the Science and Technology Committee, and (extending beyond the House) the Joint Committee on Human Rights; though readers are also welcome to nominate a specific sub-committee of the EU Committee or one of the ad hoc committees of recent years (such as the Committee on the Barnett Formula).

The award will go to the committee receiving the most nominations.  However, as an incentive to readers, all those nominating a committee will be treated as quiz winners – in other words, only needing to win two other quizzes (rather than three) in order to be grand prize-winners and be invited to tea at the Lords.

11 comments for “Quiz with a difference

  1. Emmy
    28/08/2010 at 11:06 am

    Members of The Merits of Statutory Instruments Committee deserve an award for the sheer amount of reading they have to get through each week!

    • ladytizzy
      28/08/2010 at 9:56 pm


  2. Len
    28/08/2010 at 11:42 am

    For me, it is unquestionably the Science and Technology committee, for their stellar work on not only genomic medicine but also nanotechnologies and food; both inquiries that have been widely acknowledged as comprehensive and scientifically sound. The work of that committee is widely regarded, and I believe it is one of the best parliamentary science and technology committees in the world.

  3. frank young
    28/08/2010 at 2:31 pm

    I’m going to nominate the European Union Committee in recognition of the important work they do in scrutinising regulation coming from the EU.

    • Chris K
      31/08/2010 at 3:36 pm

      Do you have any examples of successes where they’ve beaten the latest harebrained idea from Our Masters in Brussels?

      I’m afraid I think the EU Committee is fighting a losing battle. Not that that’s their fault.

  4. Croft
    28/08/2010 at 3:04 pm

    I suppose I ought to mention the Information Committee as some of us participated in their ‘Are the Lords listening?’ report.

    On a note as their was much discussion about open data from governments there are some nice UK examples in a recent Ted speech by TBL


    • Lord Norton
      Lord Norton
      28/08/2010 at 7:54 pm

      Croft: Although the Information Committee tends to be classed more as a domestic committee, its recent work (not least on ‘Are the Lords Listening?’) means I should have included it in the substantive list.

  5. 28/08/2010 at 4:49 pm

    Lord Norton,
    You may be surprised to see me vote but seeing my name as a voter you could cast my vote — the Constitution Committee. All people in the whole world who may happen to be just like me realize that the greatest questions all have constitutional ramifications forth and back. Devolution, EU relations, UK-US relations, Commonwealth well-being, procedure and order, religion and conscience all ought to benefit much from good constitutional thought and suffer from its lack.I have biases few commenters here reading could believe I come by honestly but I think such a job would be as challenging and demanding as any job a person could have and so they get my vote for trying. I will surely make fun of them when I can if I think they have failed.

  6. djb13
    30/08/2010 at 12:02 am

    Science and Technology Committee gets my vote.

  7. Chris K
    31/08/2010 at 3:32 pm

    It would have to be Science & Technology. A debate I went to on genetic engineering mentioned the Human Fertilisation & Embryology Act and I mentioned, several times, that the Act was the work of the Lords.

    I don’t see how anyone could possibly expect the Commons to come up with legislation so carefully and expertly crafted.

  8. Dave H
    01/09/2010 at 9:51 am

    The Merits of Statutory Instruments Committee gets my vote – hopefully they’ll have less work to do under the new government because I perceive a desire, at least with some ministers, to do a proper job and specify most of the law in bills. It always irritated me with thge previous government the way important points of law were delegated to secondary legislation, often with minimal Parliamentary oversight. That’s not how secondary legislation was intended to be used!

    As such, a committee that keeps an eye on what I see as an abuse of power is well worthy of an award.

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