Social media; the link between your home and our House

Guest Contributor

Most people who watch me on television or read about me know I am a Lord, but very few people actually know what that is or what the House of Lords does in this country.  Even when people do know what it is about they think it is a closed shop, full of lots of old men falling asleep in a grand chamber, totally separate from reality.  I’m not going to say that there aren’t areas of the Lords that need to improve, but I believe the Lords has a more positive story to tell than its reputation lets on.

The idea that the House of Lords is a closed shop is not entirely accurate.  If it were true, a boy from a council estate in Hackney would never have made it to become a Lord.  However, we do have some way to go in terms of getting more peers from working class backgrounds and across different areas of expertise.  I’d like to see more members with a wide range of experiences that bring something different to the House; like Lord Robert Winston and his expertise in science and innovation, Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson and her dedication to sport as well as my friend and colleague Lord Waheed Alli who brings a world of knowledge in media and business to debates and decision making.  It is so important that we don’t just have politicians representing us in the House of Lords if we are to inspire the next generation of law makers in this country.

I’ve always believed that social media is a powerful tool and over this year we have seen just how powerful it can be with huge part it played in the Arab Spring and the UK riots.  I know many politicians, across all parties have taken up the challenge of using social media to communicate their work very well, with Labour Leader Ed Miliband topping the number of followers for any UK politician at over 100,000 but none of them have reached the numbers that I or Sarah Brown or even Piers Morgan have – showing there is still more work to do.  Social media means that people can have direct access to me as a Lord and as a businessman.  Individuals, campaigning groups and external organisations should be able to contact us and on some occasions, put us on the spot in public forums for the decisions we take on their behalf.  It is a brave move for politicians, particularly when they are making controversial decisions, but the way I use social media means there are no barriers between me and the public, with information flowing freely and unedited between the two; this is unlike any other medium for communication has done before.

A big part of the modernisation I’d like to see is what we are attempting to do now, with the promotion of this blog and youtube videos from fellow peers.  But this should happen all year round, not just for Parliament Week.  It should become a part of everyday political life.  We should be looking at the best way to break down barriers between the House of Lords and what happens in people’s everyday lives; we need to get the message across that what happens in our House actually affects what happens in their house.

22 comments for “Social media; the link between your home and our House

  1. Lord Blagger
    31/10/2011 at 11:33 am

    That’s because you’re the token lad. That you gave 400,000 to Labour will have helped a lot. Those who make large donations are highly likely to get peerages, along with mates and buddies of the PM when the electorate decide they don’t want them. They are then imposed on the electorate, with no thought of democracy to dictate to the citizen.

    So how does the social media side work? Well, when it came to welfare reform, the Lords shut up shop and made comments along the lines of I’m not listening.

    They still need to learn. Instead this blog is all about Peers dictating to the citizen, not about a dialogue.

    • atosvictimsgroup
      01/11/2011 at 3:13 pm

      For once Lord Blagger I totally agree with what you have said.

      If I win the national lottery of 100 million and donate a couple of million to a party I’m sure I’d get a title, it means very little to the average joe on the street?

      I wonder what Lord Sugar’s views on Welfare Reform are? Does he think the use of the media to denigrate the sick & disabled is a good and proper use of the system by our political leaders?

      • Lord Blagger
        01/11/2011 at 7:06 pm

        It’s rampant corruption. Both at the top, and would reiterate by quite a few on IB. You need to take on board the later.

  2. 31/10/2011 at 12:54 pm

    It would be great if we could get rid of 50% of the MP’s and have a vote for people we want to have a go.

  3. lordknight
    31/10/2011 at 12:59 pm

    I think there is a pretty good dialogue through this but will never be as good as through Twitter (@jimpknight). On any public forum there are obsessives who comment all the time on everything and will therefore feel ignored. But those that engage intelligently and constructively get direct engagement. And we read what everyone says when they comment on our blogs.

    • maude elwes
      31/10/2011 at 3:18 pm


      The last line of your post above suggests the blogs here are not read. As they bore the reader to death… Mmm!

      Many of us don’t do Twitter, as that is only for nerds.

      And lastly, obsessives, you will find, are the only ones with serious brain potential. Scientific thought goes hand in hand with obsessiveness. Ask Lord Winston. Unless you are obsessed the answer to a dilemma never arrives.

      Or, you could take the arts. A painter who is a genius, Monet, say, repeats the scene over again obsessively, until he gets it right. If ever that happens.

      However, there is a flaw in that concept too. And that is, obsessives always want to experiment and when the expreiment doesn’t work out according to their theory, they insist the tests must have missed something and has to be redone. He couldn’t be wrong. He just couldn’t.

      A bit like the Labour party and their political correct mishaps.

      • Gareth Howell
        31/10/2011 at 5:28 pm

        A painter who is a genius, Monet, say, repeats the scene over again obsessively, until he gets it right. If ever that happens

        Same with the art of public speaking.

        The word “obsessive” is a psycho one, designed to keep people in place. There is always an alternative as now, “fascinated by”
        Isn’t it ODS (Obssessive Depressive Something or other) rather than downright Schizo?

        • Shazzyrm
          01/11/2011 at 10:36 am

          Do you mean obsessive compulsive disorder? OCD 🙂

  4. Gareth Howell
    31/10/2011 at 3:10 pm

    I’m a better market trader than Jack Cohen.

    I will leave trolling to Lord Knight in his chamber, and he has taken umbrage.

    The word “troll” is presumably the masculine or neuter of “Trolloping”, a trollop being a form of prostitute or cheap woman, (without looking very closely at the dictionary) who goes with anybody all/any of the time?

    Without the perpetual posting people panel
    right here, the board would have been wound up ages ago. I object to the misuse of the
    “atmark” which is variously designated, including the word “nerd”.

    If we regular users are Trolls or obsessives,
    then Lord Knight is a complete and utter nerd!!

    The use of the nerd(@) apart from e-mail addresses may eventually mean the end of named addresses and be replaced with numbers only for e-mail.

    I hope that will help Lord Weymouth defeat Lord Sassoon again at a later date.

  5. maude elwes
    31/10/2011 at 3:25 pm

    @Lord Sugar:

    Now, if you were doing your job in the Lords, as well as you do on your TV show, you would have fired all those not pulling their weight, those sleeping in the debate chamber, and, have the place filled with determined money makers. Which would have the country out of the financial mess we are in, in no time.

    Wouldn’t you?

  6. Dave H
    31/10/2011 at 7:26 pm

    The main difference between social media and other forms such as TV, radio and newspapers, is that when you are annoyed and want to shout back, people all over the country, if not the world, can hear you, instead of just the neighbours. It doesn’t stop them ignoring you.

    • Lord Sugar
      07/11/2011 at 11:03 am

      Good point Dave H – communication through social media shouldn’t be a token nod, or a box to tick. That undermines what a powerful tool it can and should be.

  7. Twm O'r Nant
    31/10/2011 at 8:05 pm

    Don’t forget that the house of Lords is for people who are “better” than anybody else, even if they come from poor surroundings.

    It wouldn’t be any good for a poor Welsh poet like me, or for Bedd Gelert either.

  8. MilesJSD
    01/11/2011 at 1:34 am

    British History – and including the House of Lords.
    Lord Mountararat:
    When Britain really ruled the waves –
    (In good Queen Bess’s time)
    The House of Peers made no pretence
    To intellectual eminence,
    Or scholarship sublime;
    Yet Britain won her proudest bays
    In good Queen Bess’s glorious days!

    When Wellington thrashed Bonaparte,
    As every child can tell,
    The House of Peers, throughout the war,
    Did nothing in particular,
    And did it very well:
    Yet Britain set the world ablaze
    In good King George’s glorious days!

    And while the House of Peers withholds
    Its legislative hand,
    And noble statesmen do not itch
    To interfere with matters which
    They do not understand,
    As bright will shine Great Britain’s rays
    As in King George’s glorious days!
    (“Iolanthe” by Gilbert & Sullivan).
    Plainly some human-power other than British Establishmentarianism, Economics, and Houses of Parliament ‘Leaders’ has been implementing “affluence” downwards to most-of-the-People.

    Modern governance and top-down Social “change” is so slow, so begrudging, and so token (pusillanimous, imperceptible) that one has to wonder whether any really effective change-for-the-better has really yet happened to and in the House of Lords and, greatly more to the point here, between the House of Lords and the real-needs & Hows of a “would-be” “world-leading” and “exemplarily-egalitarian” democratic People.

    Lord Sugar is an Individual-Capitalist;
    it is plainly arguable that there’s little if anything truly and egalitarianly Democratic about that, I think.

    So what category of “conning” are we now being matador’s-cloaked by ?

  9. MilesJSD
    01/11/2011 at 2:02 am

    Like Karl Marx, Lord Sugar sets forth a soberly-grounded “new-heart”;

    but like Karl Marx he has put it the wrong way round:

    Marx said “From each according to ability
    To each according to need”
    but you can’t do a days’ work with no shoes on your feet and without breakfast in your stomach, so that needed to be corrected to
    “To each according to need
    From each according to ability”.

    Lord Sugar says to the Ruling-Class
    “We need to get the message across” (to The People) “that what happens in our House actually affects what happens in their house (and home)”
    when what is so crucially-democratically needed to be understood and inwardly-digested by Monarch, Peers, Commons, all GOs and all NGOs, is for
    “what happens in people’s homes and houses needs to actually affect, even direct, what happens in your Governance-Class Houses”.

  10. Chris K
    01/11/2011 at 11:21 am

    Wouldn’t it be ironic if Lord Sugar didn’t reply to any of the comments on his blog post?

    • Lord Sugar
      07/11/2011 at 11:00 am

      Clever Chris…

  11. ladytizzy
    01/11/2011 at 5:12 pm

    It is good to see that you are committed to the HoL and exploring ways for furthering public understanding. I can’t pass on this opportunity to ask first hand what your views are on business and women today, given many media articles over the years that portray you as an anti-female employer. Here goes:

    Employers of mothers are required to permit an indeterminate amount of time off for child-related issues, and similarly for pregnant women. Do you believe that employees should have exactly the same entitlements regardless of the size of business?

  12. Lord Sugar
    07/11/2011 at 10:59 am

    Thanks for the responses so far – but Jim has a point about people and thier own agendas sometimes…this was a blog about new and better ways of communicating with the public – both ways and we can always do more on that front! Not every peer or MP communicates through social media – it should be part of every day political life.

    • ladytizzy
      07/11/2011 at 2:40 pm


Comments are closed.