I am creeping back

Baroness D'Souza

Salutations to all and congratulations to all my colleagues who far from collapsing into recess kept up their blogs. Unlike me!

Lots has happened on the international and domestic fronts including chez D’Souza. However, I was unable to convince myself that anything  in the latter category would be of the remotest interest to you out there. 

The Chamber feels different. Most of us were used to being able to name (if not know) everyone but this is no longer true. There are unfamiliar faces on almost every row. There is a relentless inevitability about the inflow of new peers: everyone, including the Leaders, agrees that the House is hugely too numerous and there are desperate efforts to find out ways to reduce the size of the Upper Chamber. The simplest method – DO NOT APPOINT ANY NEW PEERS – seems not to register.

The problem is that promises for services rendered have been made, the new Government wishes to stock up on new expertise, the Opposition wishes to increase its numbers – so the influx continues despite the fact that there is no room. Yesterday I saw seven distinguished (and many rather aged)  Cross Bench peers crouching on the steps in the gangways.

Logical this is not, politically expedient it probably is!

9 comments for “I am creeping back

  1. Lord Blagger
    07/10/2010 at 12:59 pm

    You have the power to do something about it.

    Stop turning up and claiming expenses.

    That’s starts to deal with the overcrowding.

    • Senex
      10/10/2010 at 3:34 pm

      LB: Leave her alone she’s creeping, do you want her weeping? Now if you want something really eye watering here are some US Congress costs:


      “Spending increases of 70 percent, 80 percent, 100 percent and even 868 percent took hold across major parts of the institution over the past 10 years. Even those that saw the smallest increases went up by almost 40 percent or more.”

      “Senators and representatives’ salaries and benefits: $126 million, up 23.5 percent.
      Expense allowances for Senate leaders: $180,000, up 99 percent since 2000.
      Senate officers: $178.98 million, up 99 percent.
      House leadership offices: $25.88 million, up 82 percent.
      Other House officers: $198.30 million, up 120 percent.
      Senators’ personal offices: $422 million, up 75 percent.
      House members’ personal offices: $660 million, up 62 percent.
      Architect of the Capitol salaries: $106.78 million, up 118 percent.
      Capitol Police salaries: $265.18 million, up 237 percent.
      Capitol Police general expenses: $63.13 million, up 860 percent.”

      And if this evokes a comment of ‘Holy Cow’!

      “Senate Chaplain Barry C. Black makes $151,000 a year, part of the $415,000 approved for his office in 2010. Black also has a chief of staff, communications director and executive assistant helping him.”

      Can we get you an export license; Congress needs your help?

  2. djb13
    07/10/2010 at 5:18 pm

    Get a new chamber?

    I know it’s not going to be popular, but it seems to me that ‘doing 21st Century politics’ in a building not build for 21st Century politics.

    I therefore propose that the UK Parliament (as soon as we’re out this fiscal mess) build a new Parliament for the 21st Century. Consult widely on design, choose the location well, and (ideally) do it as part of a renewal (or at-least public reaffirmation) of the constitution.

    07/10/2010 at 7:00 pm

    Welcome Back.

    As tot he Peers, the Tory’s want to have their fair share of the spoils. When Labour was in office they stuffed the Chamber with Labourites, and then cheered when for the first time, the Labour party had a Majority in the House of Lords. The Tory’s want their oen Majority back, so will stuff the Lords before declaring some sort of legal Moritorium.

    This is why the 1999 reforms were such a bad idea.

    I think the Hereditary Peers need tobe restored, then our problems would be mainly slved. Provided they are given real power to block the less than wise decisions of the Commons.

  4. 07/10/2010 at 9:37 pm

    Maybe Baroness D’Souza was quite right to take the break offered; I mean, given the utter futility of the domineering-majority of British ‘Leaders’ now again grimacing accusatorily at The Public, “you People, and the World, still ongoingly owe us multiple-human-livings every week, from The Common Purse”.

    If the present Prime Minister Mr David Cameron is right, in telling the Whole Nation of English-speaking Peoples
    1. “Our Country is in Desperate Trouble”
    2. “We are equally all in this together”
    3. “We have NO MONEY”
    4. “I your British Prime Minister Cameron now utter the same call as Kitchener, Churchill and Thatcher did: ‘YOUR COUNTRY NEEDS YOU'”;

    then as Professor Stone wrote, we humans have indeed become a Plague upon Earth; and in that, upon each other.

    ‘You’ (Top Governance) are NOT working and economising equally with us all at the Bottom; and never have been !

    Peers-of-the-Upper House, and of the-Blog, I ask you, urgently and very seriously, what on Earth does your new Upper House assembly think it can actually DO about the above CAMERONIAN-DISASTER ?

    We the people have already been giving you our very best.

    Baroness, thank you for sharing both your peer- and your personal- life with us; but some of us have not even a hermit-crab shell to crawl into now;

    so you see, any-one empowered to creep into Parliament Itself might count theirself God-Blessed indeed: member of a “Noah’s Ark”; called upon to make new plans; for a new Heaven-on-Earth Itself, perhaps ?

  5. Carl.H
    12/10/2010 at 6:30 pm

    Heavens above ! You expect logic from a Government or even politics ? They cannot stop stuffing the Chamber unless they know it is skewed their way.

    Let`s look at their logic, we owe an incredible amount of money but instead of getting the extra from a base that would be equal, taxation, we`re going to pick out certain groups at the lower end of the scale.

    Like all Governments they hide and scheme, we`re not taking your money it`s the shops and the suppliers….Do you really believe we are blind ?

    For those at the bottom 20% tax, soon to be 20% VAT, untold taxation on fuel costs, ?? tax on booze, god knows how much on a packet of fags now, then you pay the Council tax to rent what you though you bought. Hell the only reason you`re working is to keep other people in work, you`ve just worked 40 hours and 35 of those were for the Government…They`re working on the other 5.

    The concept of VAT was to tax luxury items, it`s no longer a fact and the poor pay more in percentage of wage than the rich.

    You`re not going to get re-elected, stop messing about, stop lying, stop scheming. Tax at source so it`s fair, kill the politics in the Lords and make it a House to be proud of with Lords that can and will look at bills objectively from a neutral standpoint.

    My Country may need me but I feel it needs politicians with a pair with far more urgency. Get rid of the Prescotts, the Meddlesomes and all the rest from the House of Lords that can never ever be truely unbiased because of what their lives were/are.

    We don`t appoint juries on the basis of some being on prosecution, some the defence and a couple (if we`re lucky) untainted why is the House of Lords different. You`re not just judging bills, you`re judging the people they pertain to !

  6. 13/10/2010 at 7:16 pm

    Ah! Tis all a clever Al Qaeda plot to increase the weight of the Upper House and send it crashing down through Pugin’s floorboards onto the Lower House! A classless society at a stroke!

    • Carl.H
      15/10/2010 at 5:40 pm

      Ahhh! Prescott a master stroke then !

      • 17/10/2010 at 12:00 am

        I don’t know, Carl. One should never underestimate the counter-effect of the hot air rising from the Lower House.

        Baroness, the obvious logical solution to this dilemma is surely to meet elsewhere. Plenty of precedents for Parliament meeting elsewhere, albeit some time ago…. I seem to remember the Commons adjourned to the church around the corner at the end of WW2, and somewhere I have the daily Hansard which actually reproduced all the words of the hymns.

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