23 comments for “Lords Reform Again

  1. Lord Blagger
    27/06/2011 at 12:00 pm

    Some snippets from the comments shows what the electorate think.

    As it stands the Lords (what a stupid name) gives the UK a bad name and is
    totally out of step with the idea of democracy – is this the blueprint we would
    recommend to an emerging country? Just imagine – Mr President, oru advice is
    that you retain the power to appoint your cronies to the second chamber so that
    you can control events there.; oh, and by the way, having 800 or more of them
    makes for a cheap option and a stream-lined, transparent process.

    Without democratic elections:

    1) You can’t get rid of incompetents/crooks/deviants 2) People with no popular
    support can gain office 3) Lack of accountability is built into the system 4)
    Party toadies can be rewarded for their complicity 5) People who could not
    normally get elected (because they are useless) can stay in power

    Just to suggest someone is “good” at a job does not justify why they should have
    it for all time. Look at the pitiful state of the Legal system and Judges who
    fall asleep and make perverse judgements.

    If you are so wedded to your idea that the Lords “REALLY IS” as good as you say
    they are then can I suggest the following:

    1) People get the job for a period of years and then are reviewed in terms of
    their contribution and positive work in the revising chamber – is EVERYONE
    equally hardworking and diligent? I think not!!! 2) The title Lord is
    “temporary” for the period they are active in the Lords 3) They are accountable
    for their behaviour and can be “fired” at any time for fraud/cash for
    questions/expense fiddling etc etc

    In the end it is the complete lack of accountability I object to.


    “Democratic reform” = stuffing the Lords with placepersons and cronies. And they
    wonder why the public is losing faith with politicians.

    788 ! Nice work if you can get it.


    The Lords can only presume to have power if it is elected by the people, without
    being elected by the people it has no moral or democratic mandate to do

    The whole nonesense of patronage and peerages has to come to an end. It is a
    scandal that people who have “done favours” for either political side (or those
    who can’t get elected again) get booted upstairs so the public have to view them
    and their spoutings ad nauseum.

    To have to listen to the insufferable arrogance of Lord (I’m here through
    accident of birth) pontificate on the future of the Lords is sick
    making, when such people have no interest in democracy or legitimacy and presume
    to tell us “the governed” what is or what is not good for us.


    It’s the people who should be challenging governments, not another bunch of neo-
    liberal elite out of touch with the rest of the country.


    Blair’s reform of the house of lords resulted in the sacking of most of the
    hereditary peers and the “ennoblement” of failed and/or disgraced politicians
    and other riff raff who have paid for their worthless titles.


    There are no words for the sickening absurdity of the idea that a reformed Lords
    can’t be too representative because it would then undermine the authority of the
    Commons. Both houses should be as representative as possible. If the Commons
    feels threatened that just proves that it is unfit for purpose and it should
    radically reform itself.


    Firstly, they’re elected on a party ticket, so they really ought to think
    politically, and secondly, even were they not supposed to, many would anyway.
    The overwhelming majority would be party tribalists.

    We’d end up with some of the best paid, most untouchable dossers in Britian as
    our lordships. And they’d be looking for any oppotunity to increase their power
    at the expense of the commons. A dreadful combination.


    So what? Manifestos are all lies anyway. Only when they are legally binding with
    prison terms for MPs who do not enact ALL of the legislation promised therein
    will we be making progress.


    How about kicking the whole lot out? Bishops back to their palaces, doddering to
    the nursing home of their choice, yes men onto the street and the cheats ,
    villains and expenses fiddlers into the nearest nick.


    It is the simplest thing in the world to select a House of Lords that will truly
    reflect the British people. The same way we select a jury.

    At random.


    The Lords has no committees whatever that scrutinise large areas of government
    activity, including foreign affairs, defence, welfare or the public services.

    And the Commons has next to no members, with career experience in the real
    world, who can ask the questions that need to be asked in Committee. Why do we
    want more of the same inexperience voted into the Lords ?


    • Senex
      28/06/2011 at 7:53 pm

      Calm down dear, calm down! Your going to burst a blood vessel.

      • Lord Blagger
        28/06/2011 at 10:30 pm

        Not me. Guardian readers.

  2. maude elwes
    27/06/2011 at 12:41 pm

    It is time someone aired the view that if this reform is causing so much lack of vision and the country has been allowed to plummet to its present level by those who occupy our parliament, then surely, it has to be obvious to a blind man that those in both houses are not up to the job they have. Therefore, we are not getting value for money.

    Shuffling around and pretending this is not in dire need of reform is the view of dolts. Face facts.

    Had all been well in this House of Lords this reform would not be necessary, or, on the cards, but, as it is on the cards and it is necessary it is the duty of you all to deal with it to the satisfaction of the electorate. The people have a right to get what they pay for, and this is not it.

    We are, after all, a democracy and that is the first and foremost issue at hand here. Anything else is a side track, which indicates a lack of worthy membership.

  3. Len
    27/06/2011 at 2:56 pm

    I read the article concerned, but it seems to act on the rather naive assumption that people who are elected will be the same type of people who will object to the same type of things and who will give the government a rough ride. I’m not so certain that’s in any way assured. I’ve often heard people citing the Australian Senate as an example of this supposed powerful upper house. Yet this chamber, elected by STV, amends only 24% of government bills that come before it (summing the statistics on their website) and defeats only 6%. The House of Lords at present (according to the sessional statistics) amends wholly 64% of government bills although it rarely, if ever, defeats them.

    Now, this is hardly case closed on the argument – we don’t know how much each chamber alters bills and there may be extenuating circumstances, other factors, etc, but it raises uncomfortable questions for proponents of a powerful upper chamber elected by STV which I would like to see answered.

    The points about some peers not participating are interesting and well-made, but election is not necessarily some panacea – there is to be no accountability for them, remember. Encouraged retirement or some form of term limit might be a better idea if that is the issue, though I would need to look at the evidence more before coming to an opinion on it.

    Lastly, why on earth is the fact that the Lords has no committees for certain subjects going to be automatically solved by elections?

  4. Lord Blagger
    28/06/2011 at 10:34 am

    2,500 amendments a year.

    46,000 pounds an amendment.

    Most of these are the government just using the mechanism of the Lords to effect the change.

    Change the procedures, and the number of amendments drops to a trivial number.

    The real cost of the Lords is staggering.

    That they don’t see this as a problem is the the problem. They are so profligate with the spending, that its endemic in government. It’s why the UK has a 6.8 trillion government debt.

    A very expensive cost for Lords to get their taxes back in expenses.

    • Senex
      28/06/2011 at 7:57 pm

      President Blagger! Defender of thrift and parsimony; you have my vote. Yes, I can see it now, up there in lights that twinkle. When do we leave for the Milky Way?

  5. ladytizzy
    28/06/2011 at 8:28 pm

    If the article reveals “…the true nature of the House of Lords…” then do the comments made under the article truly reflect those of the electorate? Have a look.

    As much as I admire Lords Adonis and Tyler they stated, “All three main parties committed to a wholly or mainly elected Lords in their 2010 manifestos.” This is not true. From The Conservative Manifesto 2010:

    “We will work to build a consensus for a mainly-elected second chamber to replace
    the current House of Lords…”

    From The Labour Party Manifesto 2010:

    “We will let the people decide how to reform our institutions and our politics: changing the voting system and electing a second chamber to replace the House of Lords.”

    Only in the Liberal Democrat
    Manifesto 2010
    will you find the unequivocal commitment alluded to:

    “Replace the House of Lords with a fully elected second chamber with considerably fewer members than the current House.”

  6. Lord Blagger
    28/06/2011 at 10:28 pm

    I’d sack the lot and resign immediately.

    If Belgium can manage without a government, so can the UK

  7. Lord Blagger
    28/06/2011 at 10:28 pm

    The interesting thing about the comments is that hardly any were in favour. Quite why someone thinks the article is a good one.

    Just shows out of touch Peers have become.

  8. MilesJSD
    29/06/2011 at 2:05 am

    All People, including both Houses, the Monarchy & the Establishment, the European Parliaments, and the United Nations, should fear
    1. the existing “traditional” unaccountable and obsolescently-behind-the-times House of Lords
    and should fear even more
    2. the cloaked-dagger, Three-Party-State, anti-participatory-democratisation, People-excluding, closed “electioneering”
    of the Second Chamber
    by the dominant power-bloc in the First Chamber
    namely the closed-party-political & oligarchically-self-interesteds in the House of Commons.
    The Second Chamber needs to be majorly strengthened, but as the Peoples’ House of Wisdom, of up-to-the-minute sustainworthy-living Know-How, and of independence-from-party-politics.

    The Second House needs to be
    1. The Advocate & Arbiter of the Needs & Affordable Hows of Every Level of The People, and
    2. The greatest, most up-to-date in life-supportive expertises, and the most impartially effective Governance-Place of Wisdom and Political-Independence.
    There has already accumulated, and will go on accumulating, a constitutionally-sound amount of seriously constructive submissions for a sustainworthy-English-speaking-civilisation, from individual-citizens, as well as from Communities and Neighbourhoods of People at all levels, and from all Countries not just from Britons, literally pleading for rational participatory-democratisation and for effective inclusion in Britain’s, and The World’s, constitutional and legislative matters and decision-makings;

    all being ignored or altered-beyond-recognition by the so-called leading experts and intellects of the Civil-Service and the Two Houses of Parliament (and by The Media).
    Monopolising governance power under a closed-clique of destructively-wealthy, privileged and protected “lawyers & scribes”,
    who have little or no reality and wisdom imprints from lifestyle-efficiency, and have little or no capability in living-frugally,
    is anti-democratic, anti-honest-reasoning, anti-life-sustainworthiness,

    and thereby is nothing less than a “Rev Jones-like Dictatorial Suicide Recipe for the Whole Human Race”.


    • maude elwes
      29/06/2011 at 12:22 pm

      What astonishes me is, when we had a thread on the issue of drugs and the way forward for that, over 200 posts came up.

      Here we have an issue of great importance to us ‘all’ and barely a peep.

      What an utter disgrace. People have to remember, they only get what they deserve, so to complain of government and what we have got or not got, without making any sincere effort to change it, is why we will go on getting left out of the loop.

      Where are all those who wrote so ardently about the need for change on the drug issue? Now is not the time to run and hide.

  9. baronessmurphy
    29/06/2011 at 5:19 pm

    Lord Blagger, I suggest you go back to square one and read the article by Adonis and Tyler. They were broadly agreeing with you or were you just quoting other people? Sorry, normally the clarity of your thought is not an issue. .
    Len, I agree that elections alone don’t solve all problems and there is an enormous amount the Lords can do now to improve our working practices, in fact we have now got a general consensus on moving forward on many improvements. But the Australian Senate has a lot more powers than we do and can therefore defeat a whole bill; we can’t and that means we work hard on various amendments I think. I would like to see a second chamber with more powers to challenge the executive and yes sometimes to defeat it.

  10. Twm O'r Nant
    30/06/2011 at 7:22 am

    Does Milesjsd talk like that as well?

    • Matt
      30/06/2011 at 5:44 pm

      Maybe he should be restricted to 75 words a time?

  11. Len
    30/06/2011 at 11:08 am

    Baroness Murphy – yes, I agree that it has more formal powers, but to put it in perspective, the Senate leaves sixty percent of bills unaltered! That’s roughly the proportion the Lords amends, sometimes to great effect (as I’m sure the Senate does).

    I don’t see the Senate as being massively more activist than the House of Lords and checking the number of amendments it seems I may be on to something – they deal with somewhere in the region of 150 bills a year and pass on average 695 amendments per year. The House of Lords on the other hand deals with an average of 30 bills a session and passes on average 2441 amendments a session.

    I’m not sure that difference can be made up by simply suggesting that the threat and use of actually defeating a bill can render most amendments pointless.

  12. Mr David Fredin
    30/06/2011 at 3:39 pm

    Baroness Murphy. I thought about way PM David Cameron and mr Clegg want to abolish the House of Lords. And I came up with one possible reason. Mr. Cameron and people like him, knows what Globalists as Geroge Soros and alike in the EU want, that is Social Change under the label of democracy. The real issue is Socialism. So mr Cameron and mr Clegg, I suppose, want to leave a mark in history for their own benefit,that is a future i the Global uneleted networks, rather than in the Lords, and are ready to sell out the House of Lords for a seat of power among the unelected networks of the Left of today.
    Visa mer

    • 30/06/2011 at 5:45 pm

      @ Fredin

      That made no sense to me, on any level.

      • maude elwes
        01/07/2011 at 1:48 pm

        I’m with Matt on that, Fredin, I’m in left field with him.

  13. mr David Fredin
    04/07/2011 at 3:39 pm

    To Matt. You write that my comment “made no sense to me, on any level”. Well I’ll try to clearify my point. I suspect that the abolishment of the House of Lords have little or nothing to do with what mr Cameron and mr Clagg say officially, that is change because of love for democracy. They know that to be enabeled to take a powerful seat in the power networks of the internatioal left, such as mr Soros many organisations, one has to conform to the Political Correct. The EU-model of today was formed after mr Gorbachev of the Soviet Union meet with two delegations, one from West-Germany and a Communist delegation from Italy. The goal was to target the Tory Party under mrs Thacher, according to Soviet Documents. This type of development is what I point to above and call Social Change, a socialist term, used by them in various situations to cover the real aim; socialism. By Socialism I mean the goal of no House of Lords, and then no Queen and so on. So the power players of today, even on the Tory Party knows this shady buissness. I belive they adapt their policy to what they think will atract these networks of the Left to pick them up, it is simple and not to hard to understand, plain psychology of human beings. So the voter is not the power but the unelected Left. So pleace Matt and Maude Elwes see the reality for what it is.

  14. Lord Blagger
    04/07/2011 at 4:50 pm

    We have no power now, because the commons is not legally held to its manifesto promises.

    If you want to stop socialism, its very simple. The commons has to send everyone a bill for their share of the debt.

    Then they can vote on which bits of spending they want to have.

    Would the Lords come high up the list of voter wants?

    Nope, they would be out of the door quicker than you could shake a stick.

    With the electorate in control, there is no need for the Lords.

    With electorate having no control, the elite need a fig leaf to cover up their dictatorship.

  15. MilesJSD
    05/07/2011 at 10:54 pm

    yes JSDM does talk “like that as well”; and well.

    definitely JSDM would welcome 75 words limits (for all including the Posting-Peers);

    on condition they first buy, learn, and put into practice

    1. Method III.
    2. Six Thinking Hats.
    3. The New Rules of Posture.
    4. Natural Vision Improvement

  16. MilesJSD
    05/07/2011 at 11:03 pm

    yes JSDM does talk “like that as well”; and well.

    JSDM would welcome 75 words limits (for all)

    but first all put into practice

    1. Method III; (Gordon).
    2. Six Thinking Hats; (de Bono).
    3. The New Rules of Posture; (Bond).
    4. Natural Vision Improvement; (Goodrich).
    5. Fallacies and Argument Appraisal; (Tindale).

    Having done that
    you are not yet done

    for there is more –

    ((Effort; (Laban & Lawrence))).
    (NLP for Dummies; – be Ready. but don’t go-for-a-Burton).
    75 words.

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